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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Targeted Support for High Growth Firms: Theoretical Constraints, Unintended Consequences and Future Policy Challenges
Authors: Brown, Ross
Mawson, Suzanne
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Keywords: Entrepreneurship
High Growth Firms
Enterprise Policy
Issue Date: Aug-2016
Publisher: SAGE
Citation: Brown R & Mawson S (2016) Targeted Support for High Growth Firms: Theoretical Constraints, Unintended Consequences and Future Policy Challenges, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 34 (5), pp. 816-836.
Abstract: High growth firms are now a major focus within enterprise policy. This paper provides a theoretically informed analysis of the rationale and effectiveness of targeted public sector support designed to develop these firms. Drawing on empirical research undertaken in the UK, this paper challenges the appropriateness of the theoretical assumptions embodied in these state-backed support instruments. It outlines the nature of these programmes and provides a critique of some of their inherent weaknesses, revealing that the assumptions underpinning these programmes are often flawed. The paper examines the limitations of their selection procedures, the thematic nature of support and exit dynamics. It found that offering early stage firms intensive levels of resources may have important (and detrimental) unintended consequences previously overlooked by policy makers. The paper offers some suggestions for how policy instruments could be better attuned to the needs of these growth-oriented firms.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page(
Affiliation: University of St Andrews
Management Work and Organisation

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