University of Oulu

Muhos, M., Simunaniemi, A., Saarela, M., Jr., D., Rasochova, L. (2017) Early stages of service business - review and synthesis. International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, 16 (3), 151-173.

Early stages of service business : review and synthesis

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Author: Muhos, Matti1; Simunaniemi, Anna-Mari1; Saarela, Martti1;
Organizations: 1Oulu Southern Institute, Micro-Entrepreneurship Research Group, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, FI-85500 Nivala, Finland
2Rady School of Management, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Inderscience, 2017
Publish Date: 2021-01-18


Many stage models have been introduced to clarify management priorities during the early stages of business growth. However, many of these models are conceptual and universal, providing only limited benefits to specific industries and business contexts. The early stages of technology-based ventures have attracted interest, while little attention has been paid to the early stages of service-based firms. This study examines the early stages of growth in service-based firms. The following research questions are posed: What are the basic characteristics of recent empirical studies on the early stages of service-based firms? What are the themes and sequential patterns in the early stages of service-based firms as revealed in the recent empirical literature? This study provides a meta-analytical review designed to answer the research questions. A group of recent empirical-stage models of the early stages of service-based business were selected for meta-analysis and synthesis. The meta-analysis integrates the findings of these models and introduces a self-evaluation framework for the early stages of service-based companies.

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Series: International journal of management and enterprise development
ISSN: 1468-4330
ISSN-E: 1741-8127
ISSN-L: 1468-4330
Volume: 16
Issue: 3
Pages: 151 - 173
DOI: 10.1504/IJMED.2017.085036
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Funding: The authors are grateful for the generous support of the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, the Council of Oulu Region and the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, as well as all other important partners and supporters of this research process in Finland. Moreover, the authors greatly appreciate the support provided by the University of California Rady School of Management (UCSD Rady).
Copyright information: © 2017 InderScience Publishers. The final authenticated version is available online at