شالوده شکنی رابطه بین گرایش کارآفرینانه و عملکرد کسب و کار در مرحله جنینی رشد شرکت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|9625||2007||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 36, Issue 5, July 2007, Pages 651–661
Studies of entrepreneurial orientation tend to examine its three most common features only (risk-taking, innovativeness, and proactiveness), merging these into a gestalt construct of entrepreneurial orientation and then analyzing its effect on business performance. This is in contrast to Lumpkin and Dess who stressed an entrepreneurial orientation is best characterized by five dimensions which can vary independently and may not be equally valuable across performance metrics or at different stages of development. We rectify these problems by examining the independent impact of risk-taking, innovativeness, proactiveness, competitive aggressiveness, and autonomy on performance of young high-technology firms at an embryonic stage of development. Our results support the concerns of Lumpkin and Dess. Only proactiveness and innovativeness have a positive influence on business performance while risk-taking has a negative relationship. Competitive aggressiveness and autonomy appear to hold no business performance value at this stage of firm growth. From these results, we offer implications for managers in addition to guidance for future research.
Today's business environment is repeatedly described as complex and uncertain (Dreyer & Grønhaug, 2004 and Slater & Olson, 2002). This can place emerging young firms in vulnerable positions by compromising their ability to compete against established competitors. To compete under such conditions, normative theory encourages young firms to hone their entrepreneurial capabilities (Lee et al., 2001 and Wiklund & Shepherd, 2005) so as to launch speedy and stealthy attacks on rivals (Chen & Hambrick, 1995). Seminal work by Lumpkin and Dess (1996) defined an entrepreneurial orientation (EO) as the decision-making styles, processes, and methods that inform a firm's entrepreneurial activities. It has also been described as a form of strategic orientation (Wiklund & Shepherd, 2003 and Wiklund & Shepherd, 2005). Lumpkin and Dess (1996) drew on extensive research to characterize an EO as being the product of five dimensions—risk-taking, innovativeness, proactiveness, competitive aggressiveness, and autonomy. Research efforts since then have repeatedly sought to prove that EO carries valuable rewards in terms of business performance. Several studies have reported positive associations (e.g., Wiklund, 1999, Wiklund & Shepherd, 2003, Wiklund & Shepherd, 2005, Zahra, 1991 and Zahra & Covin, 1995) but there are exceptions to this (e.g., Hart, 1992, Matsuno et al., 2002, Morgan & Strong, 2003, Slevin & Covin, 1990 and Smart & Conant, 1994). It would appear that EO sometimes, but not always, contributes to improved business performance. The important question, therefore, is why the influence of EO on performance might be so inconsistent. Despite the wide-ranging attention devoted to EO, few studies have expressly examined Lumpkin and Dess' (1996) five-dimension framework of EO. The tendency has been instead to study only three of the five dimensions, commonly risk-taking, innovativeness, and proactiveness as characterized by Miller (1983). Moreover, researchers have almost exclusively adopted an aggregate (or higher-order) approach to the assessment of EO. That is, risk-taking, innovativeness, and proactiveness are measured as independent dimensions and then a composite EO scale is created into a combined gestalt construct for further analysis. The problems with this approach are that it neglects the individual influence of each dimension and assumes a universal and uniform influence by each dimension. In contrast, Lumpkin and Dess (1996) state that each dimension can vary independently and might not necessarily be beneficial or even desirable at different points in time. As a result, the coarse-grained conclusions from much of the extant EO empirical research require that this fundamental caveat be explored further. For emerging young firms with limited resource endowments, understanding which of the five EO dimensions are most valuable to securing improved performance at their potentially vulnerable stage of development is an important priority. It is conceivable that all five dimensions may be beneficial but it is equally plausible that only a sub-set of dimensions may be valuable. At present, research into EO has ignored these issues and instead has consistently only made only a partial analysis of the Lumpkin and Dess (1996) framework and has adopted a summative approach to their examination of EO, which renders individual uniqueness obsolete. We seek to contribute to our understanding of the EO construct by rectifying these omissions and responding to the following research question: Are all five dimensions of the Lumpkin and Dess (1996) EO framework equally valuable to firms at an embryonic stage of development?
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The findings indicate that uniform effort in all EO dimensions does not generate consistent gains in business performance. However, we can construe from these results that higher levels of proactiveness and innovativeness are correspondingly associated with higher levels of performance in emerging young firms. The relationship between EO and performance is more complex than is often portrayed and we contend that collectively EO dimensions have seemingly little direct influence on business performance. We thereby join a growing list of studies that have come to a similar conclusion (e.g., Matsuno et al., 2002 and Morgan & Strong, 2003). It is a research priority to understand why such marked differences have been reported. Our results might be explained by the fact we examined firms at an embryonic stage of development. For such firms, organizing activities around proactiveness, and to some extent innovativeness, is essential to securing improved performance. Proactiveness encourages the firm to anticipate and act in advance of market change which allows the firm to manage its market and shape the direction of competition over time. Innovativeness then orients the firm to generate novel competitive offerings to meet market needs identified through proactive scanning. In conjunction, these two can be powerful processes in the pursuit of performance as the results suggest. For emerging young firms, securing a firm foothold in their chosen marketplace is critical to securing longer-term prosperity and these two activities are highly compatible with that goal. Overall, our findings suggest that deploying EO dimensions is not only a matter of strategic choice, but the selection of dimensions to be implemented must be based on what is beneficial to the strategy pursued and what is appropriate at each stage of development. The EO construct should not be misconstrued as a pathway to advantage since we show that not each dimension is of value. However, if it is applied strategically and selectively it would appear to be beneficial to the emerging young firm. 7.1. Implications for managers and practitioners Managers should revisit their EO capabilities and audit whether these are delivering value. This will require a review of polices and procedures in addition to benchmarking these activities to identify whether the firm is dedicating an unwarranted and misplaced amount of resources to a given EO activity. A value analysis should be undertaken in light of our findings. As Lumpkin and Dess (1996) rightly noted, each dimension can vary independently, indicating that firms should manipulate only those that add value, as highlighted in our results. The blind pursuit of uniform implementation of EO dimensions is not an effective way for firms to create advantage. Our results suggest that such an attempt would lead to resource inefficiencies since not all EO dimensions are necessarily beneficial. Firms should focus on practices of proactiveness and innovativeness as well as ensuring that risk-taking does not become a hindrance to performance. This does not mean a return to bureaucratic formalization of firms, but, restraint is needed in the application of EO dimensions. The key activity for firms is proactiveness given its universal positive influence on both performance metrics. Managers therefore need to ensure that their firms are highly proactive. This will likely require a review and revision of existing practices and activities within the firm. Proactiveness can be improved through the implementation of environmental scanning techniques, a means by which managers can learn about events and trends in the firm's environment, which ultimately aids market opportunity recognition (Hambrick, 1981) so that the firm can generate a step-ahead advantage in meeting expressed and latent needs. Market signal detection and discriminating between opportunities and threats should be the responsibility of all employees, underlining the importance of connecting entrepreneurial efforts to marketing efforts (e.g., Atuahene-Gima & Ko, 2001, Bhuian et al., 2005, Matsuno et al., 2002 and Slater & Narver, 1995). Ensuring adequate involvement and participation in the firm's selected EO activities is essential to this. Other schemes to improve proactiveness include encouraging the use of initiative and allowing improvisation. Such flexible, initiative-led behavior will help the firm shape market direction rather than be governed by it. Also, as suggested by our results, proactiveness should be complemented by innovativeness given that it correlated with performance. Thus, creativity initiatives should also receive management attention and employees should be encouraged to solve market problems in novel ways so that the emerging young firm has a basis to better meet needs and differentiate from rivals. Effective adoption and execution of proactiveness and innovativeness is likely to require an investment in human capital. Since it is the responsibility of people within the firm to execute proactiveness and innovativeness in its daily routines and marketing efforts, managers should consider what education or skills training might assist employees to perform these activities better. Strong human capital is needed to lever the ability of the firm as a whole to perform certain activities to a superior level relative to competitors (Hitt & Ireland, 2002). An investment in human capital to leverage the application of proactiveness and innovativeness will aid their performance impact. This corresponds to the views of Bateman and Crant (1993) regarding the role of employees in proactive firm behavior. A further implication of our findings is that managers should be mindful in undertaking risk-taking, competitive aggressiveness, or autonomy and consider cautiously whether these are worthwhile at an early stage of development. Our results suggest they contribute no direct value to performance. Risk-taking is considered a defining characteristic of being entrepreneurial. However, we find no evidence that adopting a risk-taking approach to business is beneficial. On the contrary, it would appear to hinder performance. Managers of emerging young firms should consider moving away from treating EO as a cumulative construct and instead focus on its value-adding dimensions to improve performance. 7.2. Limitations First, our study concentrated on emerging young high-technology firms in the U.K. Caution should therefore be exercised in generalizing these findings to non-comparable populations. Consequently, future studies might want to consider the implications of our work for different populations of firms. Second, we adopted a cross-sectional design but this has the effect of constraining the strength of the causal inferences we can make. A study using a longitudinal design might help to elucidate the findings further, particularly to see whether the effect of different EO dimensions change over time as the firm moves into different stages of development. 7.3. Future research Our results do not bear out the notion that EO is uniformly beneficial for business performance. Much further research is needed to identify the causes of anomalies in the EO–performance relationship. The fact that several studies have now found little or no relationship suggests further investigation of this relationship is necessary. In this study, we deconstructed EO into its dimensions and studied these on performance. We also examined specifically firms at an embryonic stage of development. We provide support for concerns raised by Lumpkin and Dess (1996) that at different stages of development and on different performance metrics, each EO dimension may not be equally valuable or necessary. We therefore extend prior research and fill several omissions in EO research. Questions still remain however. First, at what point in time or in the evolution of firms do other dimensions of EO become important or less important? We suggest that much more research is needed to explore EO at different stages of development to appreciate why inconsistencies have been reported in the relationship between EO and performance. An effective EO strategy cannot remain static and so this is a key issue requiring urgent research. Second, is there an interaction among the EO dimensions that somehow levers performance indirectly? We have not considered the possibility that specific EO dimension might leverage others. Correlations reported in Table 1 suggest that some interaction among the dimension might exist yet extant research has not tackled this issue. Third, do EO dimensions indirectly influence business performance through some other mechanism? Some recent studies have considered whether EO indirectly influences business performance through market orientation (e.g., Atuahene-Gima & Ko, 2001, Bhuian et al., 2005 and Matsuno et al., 2002) and results have been mixed. Research is needed to examine whether there is a stronger case for an indirect relationship than a direct one and what constructs might mediate that relationship. Further research is also needed to understand how different EO dimensions might influence other aspects of business development, marketing success, and business process outcomes above and beyond simply business performance. This is necessary to identify whether the strategic selection issue identified in this study extends more broadly to other outcomes as well. Firms and their managers need more information on whether different EO dimensions have differential weights on other dimensions of firm success. So far, a uniform approach has tended to prevail, promoting unquestionably the EO of firms. Nonetheless, as the findings of this study show, there are selective triggers which lead to specific outcomes. Consequently, more research is needed to understand the configuration of EO most suited to achieving different outcomes.