Interpretive Structural Clarification of Transitional Barriers from Start-up to Scale-up

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Economics and Entrepreneurship, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran.

2 Management and Entrepreneurship, Razi University, Kermanshah


Aim: Knowing the processes of Transition from Start-up to Scale-up and removing the obstacles in front of it will determine the success or failure of the Start-up. Therefore, the current research was carried out with the aim of conceptualizing the interpretive structural of Transition barriers from Start-ups to Scale-ups.
Method: This study is practical in terms of its objective and, given its nature, falls into the category of mixed (qualitative-quantitative) research, based on sequential-exploratory design, and data collection through descriptive and field-documentary research. The study population includes all key informants, such as entrepreneurship faculty members with relevant resumes and backgrounds, start-up owners in the transitional and existing scale-up stages, mentors, experts, and planners of relevant organizations in the start-up ecosystem of the country. In this study, three methods of inductive content analysis, Interpretive Structural Modeling, and degree of penetration and dependence analysis were used.
Results: The results led to the identification of 12 obstacles for the Transition from Start-ups to Scale-ups, which were classified into 7 levels after analysis. Also, their level of influence and degree of dependence were determined in a range of independent, linked, and dependent influence.
Conclusion: Barriers to transition from startups to scale-ups in order of levels, including weaknesses in environmental analysis and continuous scanning, weakness in determining appropriate goals and strategies, weakness in reviewing and developing marketing plans, team problems and weaknesses in founder leadership and management, weakness in enhancing the value proposition, weakness in establishing and shaping the structure, weakness in normative and cultural capital within the team, weakness in creating appropriate financial capabilities and reducing costs, weakness in team learning processes and empowerment, weakness in appropriate infrastructure, processes and technologies, weakness in the preparedness of individuals' mental blocks for change, and weakness in selecting the appropriate time for scaling up. The current research has identified and analyzed a set of barriers to the Transition from Start-ups to Scale-ups, which can act as a guide with a step-by-step approach to increase the percentage of successful Transition. Also, the findings of this study can provide appropriate achievements and solutions for policymakers, planners, managers, and stakeholders in the Iranian start-up ecosystem.


Main Subjects

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