Life-cycle literature suggests that business organizations evolve in consistent and predictable manners, implying that organizational structures and strategies evolve as firms move through growth stages. The sustainable growth of firms involves successful transitions between growth stages through managing different types of organizational growing pains and maintaining sustainable competitive positions, suggesting shifts in the strategic orientation of the firms as the firms grow. Based on this approach, this study proposes a holistic framework to account for linkages between determinants of a firm’s growing pains and key areas of organizational development, based on a synthesis of qualitative and quantitative findings. From statistical analyses, Korean firms are found to have proceeded through distinct stages of growing pains as they reached organizational sizes as follows: 20, 100, 300, and 500 million USD in sales revenue. Furthermore, qualitative findings suggest that business strategies evolve to deal with different types of growing pains in life-cycle stages from the systemization of management system to the revitalization process. Our results expect to provide extensive knowledge on the role of strategic management to deal with firm’s growing pains, considering both internal and external factors governing organizations. Furthermore, this study expects to provide an insightful and practical framework for managing organizational growing pains and transitions required to build sustainably successful organizations.
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