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Measuring Organizational Growth: Issues, Consequences And Guidelines

Laurence G. Weinzimmer, P. Nystrom, S. Freeman
Published 1998 ·

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Although the literature contains an impressive volume of studies attempting to identify determinants of organizational growth, researchers have recently noted important inconsistencies in findings. They may be explained, in part, by the variety of approaches used to measure growth. Our study provides a critical review of the literature to identify issues regarding the measurement of growth. We examine alternative approaches in order to assess the consequences of using inappropriate measures. Consequently, we consider three concepts as well as three different measurement formulas. Based on comprehensive data from 193 firms in 48 industries for 20 periods, results from comparative regression analyses reveal that the significance of relationships between determinants and organizational growth, as well as amount of explained variance, depend on the specific approaches used to measure growth. Finally, we provide some guidelines to help researchers select appropriate techniques for measuring organizational growth.
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