The geography of job creation in high-growth firms : the implications of 'growing abroad'

Brown, Ross and Mawson, Suzanne (2016) The geography of job creation in high-growth firms : the implications of 'growing abroad'. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 34 (2). pp. 207-227. ISSN 1472-3425 (

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In recent years there has been an upsurge of interest by policy makers in high growth firms (HGFs). Interest in these dynamic firms has primarily been driven by their prodigious ability to create new employment. Despite this, very little is known about the complex corporate geographies of these firms and their internationalisation processes. Using quantitative and qualitative data, this paper explores this issue by examining Scottish HGFs. HGFs were found to adopt more aggressive forms of international expansion, such as overseas acquisitions, than their non-HGF counterparts. As a result of these complex growth processes, a large proportion of HGF employment growth is generated outside Scotland. The paper concludes that the regional development impact of HGFs for small peripheral economies in the UK is more limited than originally envisaged. The implications of the study for further research and public policy are examined.


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