fbpx Long-Term Firm Growth: An Empirical Analysis of US Manufacturers 1959-2015 | Harvard Kennedy School


  • Gary Pisano


Long-Term Firm Growth: An Empirical Analysis of US Manufacturers 1959-2015. Gary Pisano, May 16, 2019, Paper, "Firm growth is an essential feature of market economies, shaping together macroeconomic performance and the evolution of industry structures. As a potential indicator of organizational “fitness” within a competitive environment, firm growth is also a central concern to both the practice and theory of business strategy. Despite both its theoretical and practical importance, though, growth remains a poorly understood property of firms. While previous studies have documented the highly skewed nature of firm growth rates, we know far less about the persistence of growth rates over long-periods of time. For instance, do “fast growers” tend to maintain their relative growth rates advantages over long-periods or is superior growth a transitory phenomenon? Is, as predicted by evolutionary and capability based theories of the firm, the process of firm growth path-dependent or is it more akin to a random walk? The answers to these questions are central to building a robust theory of firm growth." Link