The changing role of the entrepreneurial founder in emerging fast-growth firms: a conceptual model

Vincent Giuca
Despite the continuing fascination with emerging fast-growth firms and their entrepreneurial founders, our knowledge about how these firms grow into sustainable entities is limited. Building sustainable firms is fraught with many dangers, takes a great deal of hard work and is of particular concern to their founders. The concept of 'firm sustainability' is explored and developed within the context of this study. The role of the founder in a newly established and rapidly growing firm is
more » ... Founders have considerable impact on their firms' overall performance, especially in the first few years of the firm's existence. However, for firms to grow and succeed, founders must rely on others, particularly other managers, to perform a range of operational, administrative and other critical activities. This implies that their own roles will change as their firms grow in size and complexity. While existing literature deals with the professed problem of the founder not being able or willing to 'let go' as his or her firm grows, the topic has not been adequately addressed by academic researchers, particularly within the context of emerging fast-growth firms where time and financial pressures on the founder can be intensive. For firms with two or more founders, their individual roles are likely to be forged, among other things, by the respective role each founder plays. The development of organisational resources and capabilities, including human resource management (HRM), is also linked to the founder's changing roles. The principle research question examined in the study is: How do entrepreneurial founders of emerging fast-growth firms use organisational resources and capabilities to achieve firm sustainability? In support of this principal research question, four subsidiary research questions also asked are: What is firm sustainability and is it important? In what way do entrepreneurial founder roles change as the firm achieves sustainability? Which organisational resources and capabilities are important for firm sus [...]
doi:10.4225/03/58a65e5316c95 fatcat:uzacmvtpi5avpnxtvqwxdzrcle