The Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy

Why do some SME's become high-growth firms? The role of employee competences

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  • Carita Mirjami Eklund

Purpose: High-growth firms generate a large share of new jobs and are thus the key drivers of innovation and industry dynamics. As the employees' education supports innovation and productivity, this article hypothesizes that employee competences explain high growth. Design/methodology/approach: The study approaches this by examining intangible capital and specialized knowledge to evaluate how these characteristics support the probability of becoming a high-growth firm. The estimation uses linked employer–employee data from Danish registers from 2005 to 2013. Findings: As the authors measure high growth with the size-neutral Birch index, they can examine the determinants of high growth across different firm size classes. The findings imply that intangible capital relates positively to the firm's high growth. Originality/value: Previous research on high-growth firms is concentrated on the owners’ education. This article broadens to the high education of all employees and accounts for the employees’ occupation and capitalization of knowledge with intangible capital.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Intellectual Capital
Pages (from-to)691-707
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventDRUID19 - Copenhaguen, Denmark
Duration: 19 Jun 201921 Jun 2019


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    Research areas

  • Fast growth, Firm growth, High education, High-growth firms, Innovation capability, Intangible capital, Job creation, INTANGIBLE ASSETS, IMPACT, INNOVATION, DIVERSITY

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