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Title: The growth and survival of firms in the heating and ventilating industry
Author: Gruneberg, Stephen Louis
ISNI:       0000 0001 3521 5210
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2001
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This research is concerned with heating and ventilating contractors, focusing on their growth and survival from 1945 to 1996. This study of 2,100 individual members of the Heating and Ventilating Contractors Association, (HVCA) over a period of 50 years has been placed in the industrial context of the wider heating and ventilating industry, the construction industry and the economy as a whole. The aim of this research is to study the behaviour and performance of a group of specialist firms in the construction industry. Using the annual wage returns of the members of the HVCA one of the main aims of this research is to demonstrate that firms' survival is related to their life time average rate of annual growth. The research has found that those heating and ventilating firms that grow within a given range tend to survive longest, although growth rate is by no means a predictor of success and survival. However, it is argued that although firms need to grow in order to survive, in a market that is not growing in aggregate, the growth of all individual firms is not sustainable in the long run and consequently not a single major firm has survived as an independent legal entity. The research found that since the Second World War two distinct periods (one of growth followed by one of stagnation) can be detected in the data. The heating and ventilating industry increased as a proportion of total construction output up to 1972 but from then until 1996 the heating and ventilating share of construction output did not grow. However, the volatility of heating and ventilating output increased after 1972 and the response of firms to these conditions has been a tendency to casualise employment and concentrate on the design and management aspects of heating and ventilating installations. The theoretical issues of this research relate to the market structure, conduct and performance paradigm, business cycles and population ecology. Taking the membership of the HVCA as a whole, the concentration of the heating and ventilating industry appears to have declined slightly during the period of the study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economics & economic theory