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Rachel Kidney, Brian Harney and Colm O’Gorman

Introduction It is recognised that, relative to the population of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), high-growth SMEs (HGSMEs) make a disproportionate contribution to economic growth. HGSMEs are frequently cited by policymakers and idealised by entrepreneurs with growth ambitions ( Volery et al., 2015 ). While extant research has identified factors that characterise HGSMEs, research has yet to provide a comprehensive explanation of the growth process. The objective of this paper is to extend this research by exploring triggers and transitions

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Aidan Duane and Philip O’Reilly

identify ‘benchmark variables’ and ‘dominant problems’ at each stage. The model is conceptualised on one single SoG model and does not consider the contributions of any other SoG model. Even Earl (2000 : 7) describes his proposed model as ‘highly idealised’, and neither Earl, nor Jacobs and Nakata, have empirically tested their models. Forrester (2012) propose a five-stage social media maturity model, namely, (i) dormant; (ii) testing; (ii) co-ordinating; (iv) scaling and optimising; and (v) empowering the workforce. However, while Forrester’s SoG model and findings