Growing an Entrepreneurial Business Concepts & Cases

Edward D. Hess

(Stanford Business Books, 2011)

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Growing an Entrepreneurial Business: Concepts and Cases is a textbook designed for courses that focus on managing small to medium sized enterprises. It focuses on the major management challenges that successful start-ups encounter when leaders decide to grow and scale their businesses.

The book is divided into two parts—text and cases—to provide professors with maximum flexibility in organizing their courses. The thirty-five cases can be used in conjunction with the text, or independently. Twelve cases are written as narratives with multiple teaching points, but without a focus on a particular business decision; the remaining twenty-three cases were written around specific conundrums related to strategy, operations, finance, marketing, leadership, culture, human resources, organizational design, business model, and growth. Discussion questions are provided for each case.

The text portion of the book discusses key issues derived from the author’s research and consulting, and is meant to complement the case method of teaching, raising issues for conversation. In addition to the real-world knowledge that students will derive from the cases, readers will take away research-based templates and models that they can use in developing or consulting with small businesses.

Edward D. Hess is a Professor of Business Administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence at the Darden Graduate School of Business. He is the author of eight books, 40 practitioner articles, and over 40 Darden cases.


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“Based on decades of research, consulting and teaching experience, Professor Ed Hess presents an extraordinary textbook on entrepreneurial growth. Rejecting the traditional notions of growth for growth’s sake, Professor Hess presents a more nuanced view by placing value creation at the center of the growth imperative. Based on painstaking research, this book is an inspiring and practical blueprint for leading and managing growth.”

—Sankaran Venkataraman
MasterCard Professor of Business Administration, Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia

“Ed Hess has emerged in recent years as a remarkably prolific author on the topic of organic growth. Growing an Entrepreneurial Business is another example of Ed’s depth of understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by entrepreneurial ventures as they grow and develop. His findings will no doubt prove valuable to students whose future careers lie in an entrepreneurial space, as well as to entrepreneurs as they guide their organizations to success.”

—Robert K. Kazanjian
Professor of Organization & Management, Goizueta Business School, Emory University

“This book is a must read for managers of small and medium sized companies interested in growing their firms. Using examples from case studies as well as his own wisdom and analysis, Hess tackles the tricky question of how to scale an organization in a thoughtful, insightful, and systematic manner.”

—William Forster
Assistant Professor, Lehigh University

“Growing an Entrepreneurial Business: Concepts and Cases, offers a treasury of solid empirical research, described in a most captivating way. This resource also offers insights that will help any practitioner move ahead and reach the full potential and satisfaction from growing an entrepreneurial venture. A must-read!”

—George Hess
Management Professor, Loyola Marymount University

“There are several books that try to cover entrepreneurship from soup to nuts—everything you could possibly want to know about starting a company. This book is fairly unique in its focus on growing an extant entrepreneurial business.”

—Philip Anderson
Professor of Entrepreneurship, INSEAD