University of Limerick
Costin_2013_investigation.pdf (1.83 MB)

An investigation of the internal influences on firm growth in female owner-managed established firms

Download (1.83 MB)
posted on 2022-09-20, 10:38 authored by Yvonne CostinYvonne Costin
This research is an investigation of the internal influences on firm growth in female owner-managed firms operating in Ireland. The research contributes by providing an understanding of how a range of internal characteristics and strategic-related activities influence small firm growth specifically in female-owned firms, having previously been identified as an under-researched area. Specifically, an in-depth investigation of how female owner-manager characteristics, firm characteristics and strategic-related activities influence firm growth is conducted, with a view to identifying if common characteristics are evident amongst high-growth female-owned firms. Three measures are used to assess firm growth - turnover, employment and turnover per employee. The research methodology adopted is quantitative in nature, employing a structured questionnaire. In total, 176 usable responses were obtained. This research confirms that firm growth is a complex issue, influenced by a range, rather than a single set of characteristics. The empirical findings demonstrate that specific distinguishable characteristics including age, education, and prior employment experience are prevalent amongst high growth female owner-managers. Coupled with this are firm characteristics such as firm age, industry sector and nature of ownership. Strategic-related activities, setting growth objectives, formalised strategic planning and strategy type also emerge from the research as indicators of high firm growth. Further, this research evidences the appropriateness of employing multiple rather than singular measures of firm growth, as growth may be achieved in one rather than all measures. This research highlights that specific characteristics and factors should be recognised as key indicators of high firm growth in female-owned firms. The findings bring to the fore a number of issues for consideration which will facilitate the development of competencies and skills of female owner-managers for strategy development, enabling higher firm growth.



  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Birdthistle, Naomi

Second supervisor

Hynes, Briga





Usage metrics

    University of Limerick Theses


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager