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Table 5 OLC’s initial stage characteristics in the business category

From: A change in the importance of mortality factors throughout the life cycle stages of small businesses

Stage Business category
Genesis ▪ Informal structure and process (face-to-face contact) (3)
▪ People do a little bit of everything (3)
▪ Business abilities development (11)
▪ Rewards: equality feeling, non bureaucratic environment and building up a brand (3)
▪ Personal Control (3)
Existence ▪ Authority based on the property right (1)
▪ Centrally-controlled decisions (6; 9)
▪ Informal structure: face-to-face contact (2; 5; 6; 9) and organization around people rather than tasks (mainly on the founder’s) (9)
▪ Direct supervision (eye-to-eye control (3; 4; 8)
▪ People do a little bit of everything (3), cooperating and engaging (5)
▪ Communication through meetings (3)
▪ Rewards: informal environment; factory-based promotions (3)
▪ Few policies, systems, budgets or processes (9) of decision making (6)
▪ Formal systems extension: minimal or inexistent (4; 6)
▪ Product line innovation (5; 6)
▪ Predominance of informal planning (4; 5; 7; 8)
Survival ▪ Simple (4; 8) and centralized (2; 3; 6) functional structure
▪ Supervision of supervisors: beginning of hierarchy (4; 8)
▪ More informal and less impersonal communication (2)
▪ Rewards: low-bureaucracy environment: factory-based promotion (3)
▪ Low-level of training, performance evaluation or salary system (9)
▪ Extension of formal decision making systems: minimal (4; 6)
▪ Continuity on product innovation (5; 6)
▪ Less intuitive planning: budget (7)
▪ Business abilities development (11)
▪ Niche strategy (6)