Cognitive misfit and firm growth in technology-oriented SMEs

Keith H. Brigham, Ronald K. Mitchell, Julio O. De Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this study, we examine how the founding owner-managers' cognitive style, levels of formalisation in their firms, and the interaction of these two variables (cognitive misfit) are related to firm growth in technology-oriented SMEs. We found that an intuitive decision-making style, higher levels of formalisation, and their interaction were significantly associated with firm growth over a five-year period. There has been a recent surge of interest in entrepreneurs' cognition (Mitchell et al., 2002, 2007) and the role of context on cognitive processes (Baron, 1998). Our findings suggest that incorporating individual cognition within a PO fit approach from the field of organisational behaviour can further our understanding of the key role of the founding owner-managers play in the subsequent growth of their firms. The implications of these findings for practitioners, researchers, and policy makers are developed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-25
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Technology Management
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • CSI
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive misfit
  • Cognitive style index
  • Entrepreneur
  • Firm growth
  • Founder
  • Owner-manager
  • Person-organisation fit
  • Technology


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