This study examined the process by which a technology company grows from a concept into a living enterprise in order to provide guidelines to technology entrepreneurs. A living enterprise is a mature and stable blue chip entity that is able to act on its own based on the structure of having a community involved in making business decisions. This study used a triangular selection process to narrow approximately 500 companies down to four companies. Using archival data to develop case studies, the growth processes of four technology companies (i.e., Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and Google) were investigated, analyzed, and compared. These case studies started by examining the backgrounds of the founders, development of the initial product, and beginning of operations to the point when each of them became a living enterprise.
The four case studies were used to build the model entitled General Growth Process: Concept to Living Enterprise. This model is a useful tool for entrepreneurs who want to start and grow their companies. The general growth process extended Larry E. Greiner’s models (1972), the model of organization development and the five phases of growth. In addition, Laurence Capron and Will Mitchell’s definitions of, build, borrow, or buy were incorporated as well as my addition and definition of abroad (i.e. international). Finally, this study provided detailed information on how each founder became a values-driven leader and built a living enterprise.
Keywords: concept, entrepreneurs, founders, growth process, growth strategy, growth options, living enterprise, organization life-cycle, product development, values-driven leadership.
|Commitee:||Buchowicz, Bruce, Ozog, Barbara|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Entrepreneurs, Founders, Growth strategy, Living enterprise, Organization life-cycle, Product development, Values-driven leadership|
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