ایجاد ارتباط بین دو بعد گرایش کارآفرینی با عملکرد شرکت: نقش مدیریت محیط زیست و چرخه عمر صنعت
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Venturing, Volume 16, Issue 5, September 2001, Pages 429–451
The term “entrepreneurial orientation” has been used to refer to the strategy-making processes and styles of firms that engage in entrepreneurial activities. A popular model of entrepreneurial orientation (EO) suggests that there are five dimensions of EO—autonomy, innovativeness, risk taking, proactiveness, and competitive aggressiveness (Lumpkin and Dess 1996). This paper reports on two of those dimensions—proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness. Proactiveness refers to how firms relate to market opportunities by seizing initiative in the marketplace; competitive aggressiveness refers to how firms react to competitive trends and demands that already exist in the marketplace. Despite these distinctions, prior research has tended to equate these two concepts and argued that they have a similar effect on firm performance. This paper investigates how these two approaches are related to each other, how they are related to performance, and how their function differs in the environments in which firms exhibit these approaches to strategy making. These distinctions are important because proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness represent distinctly different avenues to entrepreneurial success. A field study was conducted in which 124 executives from 94 firms were surveyed. These were executives from non-affiliated, non-diversified firms who were actively involved in strategic decision making at the top level of the firm. All firms reporting had at least one respondent who was an owner. Analysis of the data was conducted in two phases. In phase 1, factor analysis was used to examine the distinctions between different dimensions of EO. Proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness emerged as two separate factors indicating that these two strategy-making modes were perceived differently by the executives in the study. In the second phase, the relationship of these two dimensions to performance was analyzed in various contexts. Initial tests found that proactiveness was positively related to performance but competitive aggressiveness tended to be poorly associated with performance. Subsequent tests of the EO-performance relationship indicated that the stage of industry life cycle tended to favor one entrepreneurial orientation over another. The performance of firms in the early stages of industry development was stronger when their strategy making was proactively oriented. In contrast, a competitively aggressive frame of mind was helpful to firms in more mature stages of industry development. These findings were supported by other tests of the business environment. In dynamic environments, characterized by rapid change and uncertainty, proactive firms had higher performance relative to competitively aggressive firms. In hostile environments, where competition is intense and resources are constrained, competitively aggressive firms had stronger performance. The findings suggest that these two different approaches to entrepreneurial decision making may have different effects on firm performance. The differences were particularly apparent in the way firms relate to their external environment. Proactiveness—a response to opportunities—is an appropriate mode for firms in dynamic environments or in growth stage industries where conditions are rapidly changing and opportunities for advancement are numerous. But such environments may not favor the kind of combative posturing typical of competitive aggressiveness. Firms in hostile environments, or in mature industries where competition for customers and resources is intense, are more likely to benefit from competitive aggressiveness—a response to threats. A further implication of this research is that the dimensions of an entrepreneurial orientation, often considered to be positively related to performance under all conditions, may not always be associated with successful outcomes. This study indicates that the dimensions of EO often vary independently rather than covary, suggesting that the extent to which an entrepreneurial approach to strategy making is useful will frequently depend on the organizational or environmental conditions under which such decisions are made.
Entrepreneurship writers in both the popular press and the scholarly literature have generally extolled the importance of entrepreneurial activities and often implicitly assumed a positive relationship between entrepreneurship and performance outcomes. Articles in business periodicals such as Forbes with titles such as “Innovate or Die” (Young 1994) and “Hooray for Risk” (Postrel 1995) are indicative of this trend. In addition to the inherent “goodness” ascribed to entrepreneurial activity, the academic literature has often conceptualized and operationalized the entrepreneurial process as a unidimensional construct (e.g., Covin and Slevin 1989a). In contrast, we suggest that entrepreneurial processes involve complex phenomena that may not always be associated with strong performance. To explain these phenomena, we believe that the concept of an entrepreneurial orientation (EO) is potentially important to entrepreneurship research and this paper builds on previous work on the EO construct. We suggest that theoretical development and empirical research directed at this construct is important for the enhancement of both normative and descriptive theory. Earlier theoretical work proposed a contingency framework for exploring the relationship between EO and organizational performance and suggested the usefulness of considering EO (consisting of autonomy, innovativeness, risk taking, proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness) as a multidimensional construct (Lumpkin and Dess 1996). In this paper, we investigate two dimensions of EO—proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness. We draw on prior theory and empirical research into these components of EO, as well as examples from business practice, to provide a rationale and justification for exploring three related research questions. These are (1) the independence of the proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness dimensions, (2) their relationship to firm performance, and (3) the role of “fit” in explaining their relationship to performance, that is, the extent to which the relationship of proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness to performance is contingent on the business context in which these processes occur. To address the first question, we use factor analysis. To address the second and third issue, we employ regression analysis and test environment and industry life cycle as moderators. To test our hypotheses, a sample of 124 owners and executives from 94 small firms competing in a wide variety of industries will be examined. In short, we seek to investigate both why (via theory development) and how (via empirical analysis) proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness are differentially related to performance and the implications of this distinction for the entrepreneurial firm. Earlier theoretical work by Lumpkin and Dess (1996) has argued for the independence of several dimensions of EO—including autonomy, innovativeness, risk taking, proactiveness, and competitive aggressiveness. Briefly, autonomy is defined as independent action by an individual or team aimed at bringing forth a business concept or vision and carrying it through to completion. Innovativeness refers to a willingness to support creativity and experimentation in introducing new products/services, and novelty, technological leadership and R&D in developing new processes. Risk taking means a tendency to take bold actions such as venturing into unknown new markets, committing a large portion of resources to ventures with uncertain outcomes, and/or borrowing heavily. Proactiveness is an opportunity-seeking, forward-looking perspective involving introducing new products or services ahead of the competition and acting in anticipation of future demand to create change and shape the environment. Competitive aggressiveness reflects the intensity of a firm's efforts to outperform industry rivals, characterized by a combative posture and a forceful response to competitor's actions. In this paper, we will focus on proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness for two reasons. First, these two dimensions of EO have generally been investigated less frequently in the entrepreneurship literature, especially relative to risk taking and innovativeness. Additionally, as discussed below, prior theory and research have often treated proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness as if they were interchangeable. We argue here, however, that they are distinct concepts with unique relationships to performance outcomes. Thus, we feel that this research issue is more “interesting” in that it “denies some aspect of the assumption ground of its audience … it tells them some truth they thought they already knew was wrong” (Davis 1971: 329). Second, any theory of the social sciences includes tradeoffs involving generalizability, accuracy, and simplicity (Weick 1979). Thus, investigating several EO dimensions at once may increase accuracy in the depiction of the EO construct but might result in a corresponding loss of parsimony. Arguing, for example, how all five (or even three or four) subconstructs relate to each other—as well as to performance—would be quite complex and cumbersome and we prefer, in effect, to “err” on the side of parsimony. The paper is divided into four major sections. Drawing on prior research and theory, the next section advances hypotheses suggesting the independence of these two EO dimensions and performance relationships. Then, the field research methodology, instrumentation, and analysis are discussed. The final two sections present the findings and discuss the practical and theoretical implications of the research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This research explored the dimensionality of proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness and how these dimensions might be related to each other and to performance. The results from the factor analysis suggest that competitive aggressiveness and proactiveness are distinct dimensions of an entrepreneurial orientation. This finding supports our claim that these constructs represent two different modes by which firms view and act on the business environment. Proactiveness refers to a firm's response to marketplace opportunities. A strong proactive tendency gives a firm the ability to anticipate change or needs in the marketplace and be among the first to act on them. Competitive aggressiveness, by contrast, refers to a firm's response to competitive threats. A strong competitively aggressive stance gives a firm the ability to be a decisive player in a field of rivals and to act forcefully to secure or improve its position. Although proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness may both be important to firm success, the regression analysis suggests that these two dimensions make unique contributions to firm performance. Proactiveness shows a strong positive relationship to all three measures of performance. Competitive aggressiveness was negatively related to sales growth and only weakly related to profitability and return on sales, though none are at a statistically significant level. Although proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness are correlated at a p < 0.01 level of significance (Table 2), there is a large percentage of variance (R2) that they do not share—92%—(calculated as [1 − (0.28)2]). This indicates that these dimensions tend to vary independently. Additionally, the regression analyses reported in Table 3 suggests that, in their relationship to performance, proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness are divergent. The results of the contingency hypotheses, which explore how proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness might be differentially related to performance under different circumstances, also lend support to Hypothesis 2. The analysis of the moderating role of stage of industry life cycle provides a compelling set of findings. These findings reveal a fundamental difference between proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness. Early stage industries provide numerous opportunities for firms to launch new initiatives in anticipation of growing demand. Thus, proactiveness is well-suited to the introduction and growth stage of an industry's life cycle as our findings confirm: proactiveness was associated with return on sales at the p < 0.05 level of statistical significance consistent with Hypothesis 7. The findings also suggest that proactive actions, such as “constantly seeking new opportunities” (Venkatraman 1989a), may involve costs that don't pay off in more mature industries. A competitively aggressive posture, by contrast, has the opposite effect on performance depending on the industry life cycle. In more mature industries, where few opportunities remain and rivalry has become especially intense, competitive aggressiveness may enhance a firm's efforts to maintain a strong position relative to its competitors. But in early industry stages, aggressive behaviors such as “seeking market share position at the expense of cash flow and profitability” (Venkatraman 1989a) are not likely to be associated with high performance. The trend of our findings with regard to competitive aggressiveness and industry life cycle (Hypothesis 8) support this view, but they are not statistically significant. Other empirical research, however, has found a significant positive relationship between performance and competitively aggressive behaviors such as intense marketing efforts and vigorous cost controls among firms in mature industries (e.g., Woo and Cooper 1981). The role of environment as a moderator is also revealing. Proactiveness is most effective in a dynamic environment as predicted by Hypothesis 3. But proactiveness was also found to be positively related to performance in hostile environments. Although this was contrary to our hypothesis and to the findings of other EO researchers (Miller and Friesen 1983), this result is consistent with Covin and Slevin's (1989a) findings in their study of 161 small manufacturing firms. The findings in the present study, although contrary to our hypotheses, generally support an earlier point: In some contexts, there may not be a strong difference in how these dimensions of EO relate to performance. However, the different results in this study may also be related to the influence of other contingencies or to measurement issues. Measurement may also have played a role in the rather equivocal findings with regard to the role of dynamism and hostility in the competitive aggressiveness-performance relationship. Future research needs to be directed toward further developing the measurement of competitive aggressiveness. While the present study has investigated the independence of the proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness dimensions and their contingent relationships to performance, additional research should explore the same questions in the context of other EO dimensions such as risk taking and innovativeness. Theoretically, an argument could also be made for the independence of these two dimensions. For example, a firm could develop new products and services that require very similar resources and resource combinations (Barney 1992) that they already possess by using existing plant capacity. Such innovation could involve novelty and originality, but at the same time, require relatively low risk taking in terms of allocation and utilization of scarce resources. Future research should be designed to overcome some of the limitations of this study. The present study is cross-sectional. A longitudinal study could help establish the extent to which the hypothesized relationships might be causal. A larger sample size might also provide a higher degree of statistical significance. Use of p < 0.10 level of significance is hardly optimal. Nevertheless, two previous studies—Miller (1983) and Miller and Friesen (1983)—that assessed the relationship between some of the same variables, namely proactiveness and environmental dynamism and hostility, used very similar measures as this study and drew conclusions from findings that included p < 0.10 level of significance results. Another concern is that the current study does not provide objective measures of performance to support the perceptual measures used. Future research would benefit from using performance data that could be independently verified. Future empirical inquiry would also benefit from further development in the measurement of the EO dimensions based on richer, more fine-grained, conceptualizations. One approach to this end would be to more explicitly consider the multiple underlying components of the EO dimensions. For example, earlier research has suggested that innovativeness consists of both administrative and technological innovation (Ibarra 1993). Similarly, two components that could be used to depict the risk taking EO dimension are business risk and financial risk, that is, the proclivity to enter untested new product-markets and the tendency to use relatively high levels of financial leverage, respectively. Such an approach would not only provide a means to increase the number of items used to tap the EO dimensions but also help to ensure a closer correspondence between measurement and theory. Future research using other moderating variables might also shed light on the performance outcomes associated with proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness under different environmental or organizational conditions. In summary, this study has found that two of the dimensions of EO tend to vary independently of each other, and that their effect on performance is contingent on moderating variables. Future research may benefit, therefore, from considering the independence of other dimensions of EO and from viewing EO as a multidimensional construct in order to explore these complex issues. Our findings suggest that a somewhat finer-grained understanding of an entrepreneurial orientation may be useful to scholars investigating entrepreneurial processes. For owners and managers, it suggests that responding to marketplace opportunities and responding to competitive threats are distinctly different avenues to entrepreneurial success that may require unique entrepreneurial processes.The state of small business: A report of the President 1992