گرایش کارآفرینی و عملکرد شرکت : نقش فرآیند تولید علم
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|9628||2009||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 38, Issue 4, May 2009, Pages 440–449
This study examines the relationships among entrepreneurial orientation, knowledge creation process, and firm performance using survey data from 165 entrepreneurs. We use LISREL analysis to test the direct and indirect effects of the entrepreneurial orientation on firm performance. Knowledge creation process – operationalized to reflect the dimensions of socialization, externalization, combination, and internalization – is used as the mediating variable for explaining the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance. The results indicate that the significance of the direct effect of entrepreneurial orientation on firm performance is reduced when the indirect effect of entrepreneurial orientation through knowledge creation process is included in a total effect model. Consequently, entrepreneurial orientation is positively related to firm performance, and knowledge creation process plays a mediating role in this relationship.
Entrepreneurial orientation refers to a firm's strategic orientation, acquiring specific entrepreneurial aspects of decision-making styles, practices, and methods (Lumpkin & Dess, 1996). Entrepreneurship scholars have attempted to explain performance by investigating the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance (Lumpkin and Dess, 2001, Wiklund and Shepherd, 2003, Wiklund and Shepherd, 2005, Zahra and Covin, 1995 and Zahra and Garvis, 2000). Some studies found that entrepreneurial orientation enables small firms or new ventures, which are defined as firms newly built or less than ten years old (Lussier, 1995), to perform better than competitors and enhance firm performance (Ireland et al., 2003, Lumpkin and Dess, 2001, Wiklund and Shepherd, 2005 and Zahra and Garvis, 2000). However, the results of empirical studies are mixed. The varied empirical results raise the question of whether entrepreneurial orientation is always an appropriate strategic orientation or if its relationship with performance is more complex. As argued by Lumpkin and Dess (1996), most studies investigating the independent effect of entrepreneurial orientation on firm performance ignore the factors that may mediate the strength of the entrepreneurial orientation — firm performance relationship (Wiklund & Shepherd, 2005). Entrepreneurial orientation reflects how a firm operates rather than what it does (Lumpkin & Dess, 1996). As newly built firms, new ventures tend to have relatively limited financial and managerial resources (Eisenhardt & Schoonhoven, 1990), so they may be especially careful in pursuing strategic orientation. Given the importance of entrepreneurship to firm performance, entrepreneurial orientation can be an important measure of how a firm is organized to discover and exploit market opportunities (Barringer and Bluedorn, 1999, Ireland et al., 2003, Wiklund and Shepherd, 2003 and Zahra and Garvis, 2000). The resource-advantage theory views entrepreneurial orientation as resource that facilitate a firm to outperform other rivals and yield marketplace positions of competitive advantage (Hunt, 1995, Hunt and Morgan, 1996 and Hunt and Morgan, 1997). The development of entrepreneurial orientation requires organizational members to engage in intensive knowledge activities. From the perspective of resource-advantage theory, knowledge is not easily transferred and dispersed due to its characteristics of tacitness and immobility (Grant, 1996, Winter, Hunt and Arnett, 2006 and Hunt and Morgan, 1996). To respond to the dynamic and competitive environment, firms need to consistently transfer entrepreneurial orientation into feasible strategic activities to fulfill the firms' objectives and achieve superior performance by focusing attention on the utilization of knowledge creation process. Knowledge creation process allows firms to amplify knowledge embedded internally and transfer knowledge into operational activities to improve efficiency and create business value (Nonaka and Konno, 1998, Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995 and Nonaka et al., 2000a). Based on the theory of knowledge creation, knowledge is created through a spiral process of socialization, externalization, combination, and internalization (SECI) (Nonaka, 1994 and Nonaka and Konno, 1998). The SECI process of knowledge creation describes dynamic interaction between tacit and explicit knowledge (Nonaka, 1994 and Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995). When new ventures develop and formulate entrepreneurial orientation, they can utilize the SECI spiral of knowledge creation to connect and arrange new and existing knowledge from many different individuals (Gold et al., 2001, Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995 and Nonaka et al., 2000b). Employees can learn and exchange knowledge collectively, and better understand entrepreneurial style and vision articulated by explicit concepts and notions. Entrepreneurial practices and activities are then integrated and disseminated throughout the firm to generate more knowledge applications. A firm can actualize entrepreneurial orientation into practical action and embody knowledge into valuable assets to advance new products development or marketing activities (Nonaka, 1994, Nonaka and Konno, 1998, Nonaka and Toyama, 2005 and Nonaka et al., 2000a). Such dynamic knowledge conversion of SECI can enhance the firm's capability to fulfill the strategic objective and achieve firm performance such as product innovation or process improvement (Chia, 2003, Droge et al., 2003, Lee and Choi, 2003 and Teece, 1998). Accordingly, knowledge creation process plays a critical role in the formulation and activation of entrepreneurial orientation of firms. Knowledge creation process may facilitate entrepreneurial orientation to transform into knowledge assets shared by organizational members and result in enhanced firm performance. However, little empirical study has examined how entrepreneurial orientation could utilize knowledge creation process for the improved performance. In this study, we add to previous studies that have examined the effects of entrepreneurial orientation on firm performance. The primary objective of this article is to examine how entrepreneurial orientation adopted by new ventures affects firm performance through knowledge creation process. Using Nonaka's theory of knowledge creation as a theoretical angle (Nonaka, 1994), we develop and test hypotheses on such mediating effect using a sample of new ventures in Taiwan. We focus on the importance of knowledge creation process in the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance by examining the direct effect of entrepreneurial orientation upon firm performance and the indirect effect of entrepreneurial orientation upon firm performance through knowledge creation process. The rest of the paper is set out as follows. The next section considers the previous literature and sets out the hypotheses of this study. Following is the methodology for the study. Then, the paper presents the results of the empirical study in achieving the goals as those set out above. Discussion and conclusions are provided in the last section.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study develops a conceptual model to examine the mediating role of knowledge creation process in the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance. The results show that entrepreneurial orientation can positively enhance firm performance; however, if we add knowledge creation process as a mediator, the directly positive relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance will attenuate. It specifically implies that entrepreneurial orientation indirectly influences firm performance by influencing knowledge creation process. Thus, knowledge creation process plays a mediating role through which entrepreneurial orientation benefits firm performance. Our findings contribute to theoretical development in several ways. First, while the importance of entrepreneurial orientation in firm performance has been recognized, the link between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance has remained inconsistent (Lumpkin & Dess, 1996). This study reveals that entrepreneurial orientation is critical to business ventures and has positive impact on firm performance, which gives additional grounding for statements about the positive effect of entrepreneurial orientation on firm performance (e.g. Barringer and Bluedorn, 1999, Lumpkin and Dess, 2001, Wiklund and Shepherd, 2003 and Zahra and Covin, 1995). The inclusion of knowledge creation process as a mediating variable may help to enhance our understanding of how entrepreneurial orientation affects firm performance. Our findings support recent arguments for a contingency perspective on the entrepreneurial orientation — firm performance link (Lumpkin & Dess, 2001) and make a contribution to the entrepreneurship literature by clarifying the role that knowledge creation process plays. Second, the emergent model provides empirical support of Nonaka's (1994) theory of knowledge creation. The findings demonstrate the mediating effect of knowledge creation process when new ventures want to execute entrepreneurial orientation to achieve firm performance. We place primary emphasis on the dynamic processes rather than the outcomes of knowledge creation (Nonaka, 1994, Nonaka and Konno, 1998 and Nonaka et al., 2000a). Tacit and explicit knowledge is connected and converted by the interactive spiral process of socialization, externalization, combination, and internalization. The dynamic SECI model enables the firm to create new knowledge or combine existing knowledge to form new insights and become valuable knowledge assets for the use of firms. New ventures can amplify the mobilization of knowledge and trigger new spirals of knowledge creation continuously to transform entrepreneurial orientation into better business value and performance. Furthermore, the consideration of knowledge creation process makes a related support of the resource-advantage theory. According to the resource-advantage theory, knowledge embedded internally is a valuable resource because it is unique to create and difficult to imitate (Barney, 1991, Grant, 1996, Winter, Hunt and Morgan, 1996 and Zack, 1999). The findings reveal that SECI spiral enhances the capabilities of new ventures to transform tacit knowledge into the organizational memory and thereby leads to improved efficiency, growth, and profit. This result joins other studies to highlight the strategic value of knowledge creation for firms to sustain competitive advantages (Chia, 2003, Grant, 1996, Winter, Lee and Choi, 2003, Matusik and Hill, 1998 and Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995). Finally, this study contributes to integrate the domains of entrepreneurial orientation and knowledge management research. Entrepreneurship literature (e.g. Lee et al., 2001, Lumpkin and Dess, 1996 and Shane and Venkataraman, 2000) suggests that entrepreneurial orientation of new ventures is critical for their success because entrepreneurial orientation represents an important means to discover and exploit profitable business opportunities. Knowledge management literature (e.g. Grant, 1996, Winter, Nonaka et al., 2000a, Nonaka et al., 2000b and Zack, 1999) emphasizes the value of leveraging knowledge and creating new combinations. We show here that the conversion process of knowledge creation appears to be a key mechanism through which entrepreneurial orientation is developed and implemented to accomplish favorable firm performance. From a practical point of view, our study suggests that managers should be aware of the importance of knowledge creation process in the link of entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance. Managers have to facilitate dynamics and spiral of knowledge creation by taking a leading role in managing the SECI process. Firms can amplify and enlarge knowledge through the dynamic conversion between tacit and explicit knowledge. Managers need to nurture an enabling environment that allows employees to share and exchange tacit knowledge to create new knowledge. Each mode of knowledge conversion requires different approaches for knowledge to be created and shared effectively (Nonaka and Konno, 1998 and Nonaka et al., 2000b). For example, employees rely on shared experiences such as apprenticeship or practice to build mutual understanding and trust in the socialization process. In externalization, the use of metaphors in dialogue is essential for concept creation. Combination process can disseminate knowledge by utilizing information technology such as on-line network, groupware, and database. Knowledge is articulated and embodied through simulations or experiments in the internalization process. Thus, managers should carefully choose and design appropriate methods according to the SECI process to facilitate knowledge creation. Furthermore, firms need to enhance employees' involvement and participation in SECI activities. Managers should provide incentive and support to reinforce the desired behaviors of knowledge creation. Employees will be motivated to exchange, learn, and create knowledge and further transform knowledge to fulfill strategic objectives and execution. This study has some inherent limitations. First, our cross-sectional design prevents us from studying causal relationships among our variables. A longitudinal investigation would provide further insights into the dynamic nature of knowledge creation and different organizational levels. Future researches might use longitudinal design to draw causal inferences of our model. Second, this study goes further than other studies in examining a potential mediator in the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance. However, we do not consider the roles played by organizational routines, cultures, and other possible knowledge management processes such as knowledge accumulation and knowledge integration. In addition, we also know that often the firm's orientation looks like its manager. If the manager is changed or changes, entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance may be influenced. Future studies might gain additional insights by exploring other potential mediators such as organizational factors, other knowledge management processes, or the change of manager. Third, the firm age of this study is restricted within ten years and the majority of our response samples are small and medium enterprises. Larger firms tend to have sufficient resources or money to invest in knowledge management process. Future research could overcome this limitation by expanding the scope of studies to include larger and elder firms. Fourth, the study is based on self-report data incurring the possibility of common method bias. However, our tests of common method variance do not find it to be a significant problem in this study. We also use multiple assessments including Cronbach alphas, composite reliability, convergent validity, and discriminant validity to support the accuracy of the data and the results. Future studies might use objective measures for firm performance to strengthen the research design. In summary, entrepreneurial orientation is critical for enhancing firm performance. Our study highlights the crucial importance of the mediating role of knowledge creation process when examining the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance. The viewpoints proposed in this study have important implication for new ventures in today's dynamic and competitive environment.