High-growth firms: Introduction to the special section

  • Coad A
  • Daunfeldt S
  • Hölzl W
 et al. 
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High-growth firms (HGFs) have attracted considerable attention recently, as aca- demics and policymakers have increasingly recognized the highly skewed nature of many metrics of firm performance. A small number of HGFs drives a dispropor- tionately large amount of job creation, while the average firm has a limited impact on the economy. This article explores the reasons for this increased interest, sum- marizes the existing literature, and highlights the methodological considerations that constrain and bias research. This special section draws attention to the im- portance of HGFs for future industrial performance, explores their unusual growth trajectories and strategies, and highlights the lack of persistence of high growth. Consequently, while HGFs are important for understanding the economy and de- veloping public policy, they are unlikely to be useful vehicles for public policy given the difficulties involved in predicting which firms will grow, the lack of persistence in high growth levels, and the complex and often indirect relationship between firm capability, high growth, and macro-economic performance.

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  • Sven Olov Daunfeldt

  • Werner Hölzl

  • Dan Johansson

  • Paul Nightingale

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