Our leading research on growth

Key findings

PwC’s Strategy& conducted a survey in 2015 of more than 500 executives from around the world whose companies have annual revenues ranging from US$100 million to more than $10 billion. The results are worrying:

  • Companies put growth
    at the top of
    their agenda
  • Most executives doubt their
    current efforts will yield
    the needed results
  • Executives paint a
    picture of how difficult
    growth is — and feels
  • The growth imperative
    often spreads companies
    and executives thin


94% of executives say growth is a company priority, and a full 30% say it’s more important than anything else.

85% of executives say their company’s growth targets are in line with or above their industry’s growth rates.


Only 38% of executives are highly confident their company will realize its growth targets.

61% of respondents think that realizing their company’s growth targets will take significant extra effort — what they’re doing now is just not enough.

51% admit their company is not fully clear about how to realize their growth targets.

78% of executives say they do not think their leaders are “excellent” at driving growth.


Although 74% of executives agree that more growth opportunities exist now than did 10 years ago, 70% say it’s more difficult now to generate profitable growth, and 66% say knowing which growth avenue to pursue is harder than it was a decade ago.

Only 39% of executives say they “thrive on” their company’s emphasis on growth; most (53%) say they just “handle it.”

Chasing growth

34% of execs admit to being frustrated because they have to pursue many growth opportunities in parallel, none of them significant enough to make a difference.

33% say they’re frustrated because their company continues to pursue growth initiatives that have proven not to work.

39% say they’re concerned that the pursuit of growth is spreading the company too thin, and 37% are concerned that it may erode the positives of the company culture.

Key publications

Strategy& Growth Survey Infographic
Highlights of the Strategy& 2015 growth survey with more than 500 executives globally.
Strategy That Works
Winning companies don’t follow conventional wisdom. They apply five acts of unconventional leadership that allow them to close the strategy-to-execution gap.
The Coherence Premium
Harvard Business Review
Sustainable, superior returns accrue to companies that focus on what they do best. Companies that align their differentiating capabilities with the right external market position enjoy a coherence premium.