Choosing between growth and glory

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Prior work has established that the financing environment can impact firm strategy. We argue that this influence can shape the earliest strategic choices of a new venture by creating a potential trade-off between two objectives: rapid growth and reaping the benefits of a positive reputation (glory). We leverage a simple reputation-building strategic choice-naming the firm after the founder (eponymy)-that is associated with superior profitability. Next, we argue via a formal model that the availability of/dependence on external financing can explain why high-growth firms are rarely eponymous. We find empirical support for the model's predictions using a large data set of 1 million European firms. Eponymous firms grow considerably more slowly than similarly profitable firms. Moreover, eponymy varies in accordance with the firm's financing environment in a pattern consistent with our model. We discuss implications for the literature on new-venture strategy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Belenzon, S; Chatterji, AK; Daley, B

Published Date

  • May 1, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 66 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 2050 - 2074

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1526-5501

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0025-1909

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1287/mnsc.2019.3296

Citation Source

  • Scopus