© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to achieve an integrated understanding of the relationship between the desire of business managers for growth and their behavior toward business growth, with regard to variables affecting this relationship, within the framework of the theory of planned behavior. The main motivation for conducting this study was the lack of studies about the effects of cognitive factors on the growth of SMEs in Iran. In addition, behavior, personality, and specific characteristics of entrepreneurs, which have a great impact on the decision-making process and development of growth strategies, have been less taken into account in previous studies. Design/methodology/approach: The present paper reviews the existing literature on growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), theory of planned behavior as well as previous studies on business growth of SMEs within the framework of planned behavior theory. The conceptual model of the research was compiled from the models of two previous studies. The mixed approach is implemented and the statistical population of the research comprises of the managers of exporting manufacturing SMEs. In the qualitative section, data were analyzed using open codification technique and the partial least squares software package was utilized to conduct the quantitative data analysis. Findings: The results indicate that the desire of managers for business growth has a direct and positive impact on their behavior toward business growth. This means that the higher the desire of managers for growth, the higher the level of business growth they would achieve because the raising level of desire leads to making a greater effort for achieving the goal. In this study, personality traits of managers, business environment features and business features were analyzed as the factors influencing the desire of managers for business growth. Practical implications: This paper will be useful for entrepreneurs, policymakers and researchers given its results about the effects of the desire of managers for growth on the measures and outcomes of business growth. This study suggests that the business environment has an important influence on its growth, and that the environmental dynamism paves the way for the growth of SMEs. Originality/value: Most studies on business growth have focused on economic and political aspects affecting the growth of enterprises, and few studies have dealt with psychological traits of managers. The present study attempted to fill this gap in the literature and add to the very limited number of studies conducted about the effects of psychological factors on business growth. This means that the higher the desire of managers for growth, the higher the level of business growth they would achieve. In other words, higher levels of business growth are indicative of the desire of managers for growth, which itself is influenced by personality traits, business environment features and business features.
Hanifzadeh, F., Talebi, K., & Sajadi, S. M. (2018). The analysis of effect of aspiration to growth of managers for SMEs growth case study: Exporting manufacturing SMEs in Iran. Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, 10(2), 277–301. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEEE-10-2016-0045