Controlling in jungen, innovativen Wachstumsunternehmen : eine rationalitätsdefizitorientierte Analyse wesentlicher Probleme

  • Controlling in young, innovative, growing enterprises : a rationality-gap based analysis of crucial problems

Langenberg, Georg Johannes; Brettel, Malte (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : Publikationsserver der RWTH Aachen University (2008)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Aachen, Techn. Hochsch., Diss., 2008


Throughout the last years young, innovative growth-oriented enterprises (YIGC) have received increased attention in economic research. To this day starting a business bears a high risk and only one out of five enterprises stays in business for more than ten years. Even though failure of enterprises is part of a natural selection process, every bankruptcy causes an economic loss. Gaining knowledge in improving the survival of a greater number of YIGC is of high scientific and practical relevance. Many pieces of research illustrate that wrong decisions on management level are one of the main causes of company-failure. Avoiding wrong decisions on various levels of the company, that is, assuring rationality in the company, is the main purpose of controlling as it is defined in this dissertation. Since literature addresses problems of YIGC rather than the underlying rationality gaps, this dissertation starts out by giving an overview of problems of YIGC described in literature. The author analyzes empirically, which problems have a significantly negative effect on the performance of YIGC. Each problem is analyzed to determine whether it is caused by rationality gaps. The identified rationality gaps are in turn analyzed to find out how they can be remediated through controlling. The results of the research show that almost all major problems of YIGC can be traced back to rationality gaps and that most of these problems can be reduced or solved by rationality-safeguarding measures. The dissertation also reveals that in order to take the necessary rationality-safeguarding measures, YIGC often require external support. The results hint to a lack of problem consciousness in YIGC towards many relevant problems, because it shows that hardly any of the problems described as severe by the YIGC in the survey actually displayed a significant negative impact on the company’s performance. Especially during the very early phases of a company it can be necessary that the initiation of rationality-safeguarding measures is triggered from outside the company. In such cases controlling takes the shape of an external coaching rather than an internal controlling.