گرایش کارآفرینی و عملکرد کسب و کار کوچک :یک روش پیکربندی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|9619||2005||21 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Venturing, Volume 20, Issue 1, January 2005, Pages 71–91
The strategy and entrepreneurship literatures suggest that an entrepreneurial orientation (EO) improves firm performance, but the empirical results are mixed. In this article, we investigate the EO of small businesses and find that a main-effects-only analysis provides an incomplete picture of performance. Access to capital and the dynamism of the environment are important to small businesses, and we find that when combined with EO (a three-way interaction model) the configurational approach explains variance in performance over and above a contingency model (two-way interactions) and a main-effects-only model.
A general tendency in today's business environment is the shortening of product and business model life cycles (Hamel, 2000). Consequently, the future profit streams from existing operations are uncertain and businesses need to constantly seek out new opportunities. Therefore, they may benefit from adopting an “entrepreneurial strategic orientation” (EO). This involves a willingness to innovate to rejuvenate market offerings, take risks to try out new and uncertain products, services, and markets, and be more proactive than competitors toward new marketplace opportunities (Covin and Slevin, 1991). This conceptual argument put forth by Covin and Slevin (1991) has received empirical support in the literature. Studies have found that those businesses that adopt a more entrepreneurial strategic orientation perform better (e.g., Wiklund, 1999, Zahra, 1991 and Zahra and Covin, 1995). However, these findings are not uncontested. Smart and Conant (1994), for example, were unable to find a significant relationship between EO and performance, and Hart (1992) argues that entrepreneurial-type strategies under certain circumstances may even be associated with poor performance. Although differences in findings may be attributed to differences in research design or methodological idiosyncrasies, such differences apparently reflect the fact that EO may sometimes, but not always, contribute to improved performance. Conceptualizing the relationship between EO and performance, Lumpkin and Dess (1996) note the complexity of this relationship, suggesting that the performance implications of EO are context specific. That is, the strength of the relationship between EO and performance depends on the characteristics of the external environment as well as internal organizational characteristics. Therefore, the relationship between EO and performance may apparently be more complex than a simple main-effects-only relationship. The important question, then, is how to best capture the complexity in the EO–performance relationship. The dominant approach to date has been to use the universal effect approach, assuming that EO is universally beneficial, or to rely on contingency models that capture the two-way interaction between EO and a characteristic of the external environment or between EO and an internal organizational characteristic. For example, EO seems to have a larger positive effect on performance in hostile than in benign environments Covin and Slevin, 1989 and Zahra and Covin, 1995. Concerning internal characteristics, access to financial capital provides the resource slack necessary to encourage experimentation within the firm, allowing it to pursue new opportunities March and Simon, 1963, Bourgeois, 1981 and Zahra, 1991. Conversely, resource constraints may be associated with internal control and attempts to conserve the limited resources at hand, stifling entrepreneurial initiatives. Hence, resources appear to be relevant for enacting an EO. These examinations have started to generate knowledge about the situations in which an EO has a greater or smaller effect on performance. However, as argued by Lumpkin and Dess (1996), additional insights may be gained by concurrently assessing the joint performance implications of EO and both these sets of variables (in short, use a configurational approach). Configurational models thus represent alternatives to the universal effect and contingency models used to date. The configurational approach argues that in organizations, certain elements of strategy, structure, process, and environment tend to cluster together to form configurations (Meyer et al., 1993). Thus, in a large sample of firms, a relatively small number of configurations will arise, where key variables are aligned. Performance results from both the consistency of structural and strategic factors and the congruence of the structural and strategic factors with contextual factors. This implies that to be maximally effective, organizations must have configurations that are internally consistent and that fit multiple contextual dimensions Doty et al., 1993, Ketchen et al., 1993, Miller, 1990 and Miller, 1996. The above suggests that a configurational approach might provide an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the link between EO and firm performance. Following the recommendations by Lumpkin and Dess (1996), this article tests the relevance of the configurational approach by comparing a configurational model of EO and performance to contingency models and a universal (direct effect) model. More specifically, we ask the following questions: Does an EO affect small business performance? Is the relationship between an EO and small business performance moderated by access to resources? Is it moderated by the characteristics of the environment? Alternatively, does the consideration of configurations of EO, access to resources, and the environment provide a more complete understanding of small business performance? To answer these questions, we assess first the independent effect of these variables, then two-way interaction effects, and finally the three-way interaction effect using a sample of 413 small Swedish firms. In addressing the above questions, we make the following contributions. First, building on the findings by Dess et al. (1997) and other configurational research, we incorporate resources and the environment into a configuration of how EO affects small business performance. Thereby, we advance the research on the value of entrepreneurial-type strategies. Second, single indicators have typically been used to operationalize small firm performance (Wiklund, 1998). However, a multidimensional approach to capturing performance should be used when investigating the effects of EO, as outcomes may be favorable in some dimensions but not in others (Lumpkin and Dess, 1996). We operationalize small business performance as an index of seven commonly used performance measures pertaining to financial performance and growth. Finally, most studies of EO and performance use cross-sectional designs. However, it may take considerable time for the effects of EO to materialize (Lumpkin and Dess, 1996). Specifically, Venkatraman (1989a) argues that longitudinal designs are needed in configurational studies. To empirically test whether an EO actually leads to better performance, longitudinal data are necessary where EO is measured at one point in time and performance outcomes are measured later. We use such a longitudinal design. The article proceeds as follows. First, the literature on EO is introduced and we hypothesize a universal effect model to explain EO's relationship with small business performance. Second, we highlight that the EO–performance relationship is likely more complex than a universal effect model and propose the benefits of a configurational approach over and above a contingency model (two-way interactions) and the universal effect model. Third, we describe the research method including sampling, measures, and analysis. We then test our hypotheses. Finally, we detail and discuss the results including implications for scholars and practitioners.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Small businesses are important to most economies; therefore, investigation of their performance is a worthwhile scholarly endeavor. Consistent with previous research, we find that EO affects small business performance. The findings of this article show that relying solely on the main-effects-only relationships, however, provides an incomplete picture of small business performance. A more complete understanding arises from using a configurational approach: the appropriate alignment of an EO, access to capital, and environmental dynamism. More research needs to be conducted into configurational models, especially those that involve EO.