University of Oulu

Saarela, M., Simunaniemi, A.-M., Muhos, M. and Leviäkangas, P. (2018), "Growth management of eHealth service start-ups", Journal of Advances in Management Research, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 17-36.

Growth management of eHealth service start-ups

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Author: Saarela, Martti1; Simunaniemi, Anna-Mari1; Muhos, Matti1;
Organizations: 1Kerttu Saalasti Institute, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2VTT, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2018
Publish Date: 2022-09-16


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to focus on the early development of eHealth service start-ups. To elaborate the research problem, the study addresses the following research questions: How do managerial experiences in eHealth service start-ups relate to the central findings of the recent empirically based stages-of-growth literature? What context-specific viewpoints should be considered when using the stage framework in relation to eHealth service start-ups?

Design/methodology/approach: In this explorative multiple case study, the authors test a growth framework describing the early stages of eHealth service firms through eight case studies. The authors utilise the critical incident technique and semi-structured interviews in the data collection.

Findings: When taking into account the key contradictions assessed in the study as well as context-specific features of eHealth businesses, the empirically based stage framework seems to be a useful starting point for reflecting on and predicting the challenges faced during the early development of eHealth service start-ups. Slow growth due to several factors and the essential role of the public sector were commonly emphasised elements of the context-specific viewpoints of the eHealth service business.

Practical implications: The results may be used in start-ups and intermediary organisations as a framework for predicting managerial challenges during the start-up stage of an eHealth service business.

Originality/value: Numerous universal models and frameworks have attempted to clarify management priorities during the early stages of business. However, context-specific viewpoints and their effects on start-ups have not been broadly studied. This study provides new insights into growth management in the eHealth context.

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Series: Journal of advances in management research
ISSN: 0972-7981
ISSN-E: 0972-7981
ISSN-L: 0972-7981
Volume: 15
Issue: 1
Pages: 17 - 36
DOI: 10.1108/JAMR-06-2017-0073
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
520 Other social sciences
Copyright information: © Emerald Publishing Limited. This AAM is provided for your own personal use only. It may not be used for resale, reprinting, systematic distribution, emailing, or for any other commercial purpose without the permission of the publisher.