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Theresa Welbourne
  Theresa M. Welbourne

Executives Expect Reduced Growth in the 2nd Quarter

4/13/2004 --

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – More and more business leaders plan to reduce growth in key business resources in the second quarter, according to the March 2004 Leadership Pulse.

Conducted monthly by the University of Michigan Business School and eePulse Inc., the Web-based survey asked 560 U.S. and foreign business executives to project changes in sales, net profits, number of customers and employees, and new products and services.

The survey is designed to measure the effects of key resources and confidence levels on overall business growth and performance.

The results indicate that fewer executives expect growth among all of the study's key variables during this quarter (with the percentage of those predicting increases in parentheses):

  • Sales (80 percent in Q2 2004, down from 82 percent in Q1 2004).
  • Net profits (72 percent in Q2 2004, down from 78 percent in Q1 2004).
  • Number of customers (74 percent in Q2 2004, down from 76 percent in Q1 2004).
  • Number of employees (48 percent in Q2 2004, down from 49 percent in Q1 2004).
  • New products and services (59 percent in Q2 2004, down from 61 percent in Q1 2004).

"Given that so many other economic indicators are reporting more favorable results, one has to wonder if somehow the small changes are not meaningful or if they are a function of the sample changing from the first quarter to the second," said Theresa M. Welbourne, founder, president and CEO of eePulse, Inc. and an Adjunct Professor of Executive Education at the University of Michigan Business School. "However, additional analysis of the change in scores still indicates reductions in all of the growth numbers."

According to Welbourne, another explanation for the sudden change in downward trends may relate to how organizations grow.

"We may be seeing a downturn as a form of a 'retooling' effort, outsourcing or optimizing in order to enhance more growth later in the year," she said. "One of the patterns we have seen in this data is that high-performing firms tend to grow significantly, then take 'rest' periods before another spurt of growth."

For more information or to participate in the Leadership Pulse study, contact Welbourne or the eePulse research team at (734) 996-2321 or visit or

For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat
Phone: (734) 936-1015 or 647-1847