تاثیر تعدیل کننده فرآیندهای تبادل اجتماعی داخلی بر رابطه عملکرد ـ گرایش کارآفرینی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|9630||2010||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Venturing, Volume 25, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 87–103
This paper applies a social exchange perspective to understand the internal contingencies of the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation (EO) and performance. It focuses on two aspects of social interactions among functional managers (procedural justice and trust), as well as on their organizational commitment, as potential enhancements to the firm's successful exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities. A study of 232 Canadian-based firms finds several positive moderating effects: The EO–performance link is stronger for higher levels of procedural justice, trust, and organizational commitment. In addition, consistent with a systems approach to organizational contingencies, the EO–performance relationship is stronger when the organization's social context comes closer to an “ideal” configuration of procedural justice, trust, and organizational commitment that is most conducive to knowledge exchange within the organization. The study's implications and future research directions are discussed.
In changing and increasingly competitive environments, firms must constantly seek out entrepreneurial opportunities (D'Aveni, 1994) and translate them into improved performance outputs (Hitt et al., 2001). To this end, a firm's entrepreneurial orientation (EO)—that is, its strategic posture to be innovative, proactive, and risk taking—takes on instrumental importance (Covin and Slevin, 1991). Many studies demonstrate the beneficial influence of EO on firm performance ( Wiklund, 1999, Wiklund and Shepherd, 2005, Zahra, 1991 and Zahra and Covin, 1995), but studies in which this relationship does not hold (Smart and Conant, 1994) and arguments for the lack of universal applicability of an entrepreneurial strategic posture (Hart, 1992) have prompted further theoretical elaboration of the EO–performance relationship, highlighting its various contingencies (Lumpkin and Dess, 1996). Accordingly, a stream of studies reveals the moderating roles of external factors such as environmental hostility, turbulence, and dynamism ( Covin and Covin, 1990, Dess et al., 1997, Namen and Slevin, 1993 and Wiklund and Shepherd, 2005), external networks ( Lee et al., 2001 and Stam and Elfring, 2008), and national culture (Arbaugh et al., 2005). Yet for entrepreneurial orientation to result in performance advantages, it also needs to be properly and successfully managed within the organization ( Covin et al., 2006 and Miller and Friesen, 1986), which involves exploiting opportunities through the development and deployment of resources across organizational units ( Ireland et al., 2003 and Kuratko et al., 2005). Therefore, understanding how firms can enable and effectively implement their entrepreneurial orientation also requires consideration of internal organizational processes ( Lumpkin and Dess, 1996 and Wiklund and Shepherd, 2005) and the leveraging of resources such as knowledge across functional departments (Floyd and Lane, 2000). In this regard, apart from the roles of the firm's resources (Wiklund and Shepherd, 2005), market orientation (Bhuian et al., 2003), and strategy formation process (Covin et al., 2006), the social aspects of the effective exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities, which enable and promote knowledge exchange within the organization, have largely remained unexplored. Notably, social exchanges underlie the organization's capability to combine effectively the knowledge embedded in different functional areas (De Luca and Atuahene-Gima, 2007) and are particularly conducive to entrepreneurial behavior when internal relationships are characterized by fairness, trust, and organizational support ( Hornsby et al., 2002, Kim and Mauborgne, 1998 and Kuratko et al., 2005). Hence, we pose the following research question: How does firms' internal social context influence their ability to exploit entrepreneurial opportunities? To address this question, we consider the intricate interplay between the content of a firm's strategic posture (i.e., entrepreneurial orientation) and the social processes within the firm's borders (Covin et al., 2006). Specifically, we focus on the interactions and attitudes of mid-level, functional managers (Hornsby et al., 2002 and Kuratko et al., 2005), who oversee the sub-processes through which an organization's higher-level, strategic decisions get implemented (Burgelman, 1983, Floyd and Lane, 2000 and Floyd and Wooldridge, 1997) and thus epitomize the enactment of a firm's entrepreneurial posture (Kuratko et al., 2005). From their unique position to evaluate and re-direct knowledge flows within the organization (Kanter, 1985) and their engagement in social interactions that affect the volume and quality of knowledge flows ( De Clercq and Sapienza, 2006 and Floyd and Lane, 2000), these managers play instrumental roles in the exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities ( Floyd and Wooldridge, 1997 and Mom et al., 2007). Consistent with prior work that highlights the influence of procedural justice (Sapienza and Korsgaard, 1996), trust (Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998), and organizational commitment (Kim, 1998) on effective knowledge sharing in social exchange relationships, we focus on how these three social exchange processes influence the EO–performance relationship. We argue that procedural justice, trust, and organizational commitment each facilitate the firm's ability to exploit entrepreneurial opportunities by enhancing the amount and quality of knowledge exchange across functional departments (De Clercq and Sapienza, 2006). In addition, these three factors collectively constitute a conceptually meaningful gestalt ( Covin et al., 2006 and Miller, 1986) that reflects how the organization's internal social context can influence the exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities (Kim and Mauborgne, 1998). To this end, we apply a systems perspective to understanding the contingent influence of social context (Drazin and Van de Ven, 1985) and focus on the holistic configuration of its characteristics ( Govindarajan, 1988, Ketchen et al., 1993, Ketchen et al., 1997, Meyer et al., 1993 and Payne, 2006). To the extent that an “ideal” configuration of factors aligns best with the implementation requirements of a particular strategic posture (e.g., Venkatraman, 1989 and Vorhies and Morgan, 2003), the similarity to that configuration reflects how easily that posture may be converted into organizational effectiveness ( Doty et al., 1993 and Govindarajan, 1988). Accordingly, we identify and discuss an “ideal” configuration of procedural justice, trust, and organizational commitment that is most conducive to cross-functional knowledge exchange and, because of the critical role of such exchanges for exploiting entrepreneurial opportunities, argue that organizations with a closer adherence to this configuration will exhibit a stronger relationship between their EO and performance.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
6.1. Discussion of results We advance the notion that a firm's ability to leverage its entrepreneurial orientation (EO) into successful performance depends on internal social exchange processes that facilitate knowledge flows across functional departments (Floyd and Lane, 2000, Ireland et al., 2003 and Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998). This study argues that effective knowledge exchange between functional departments—and the associated capability to combine resources necessary for the successful exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities (Eisenhardt and Martin, 2000, Floyd and Lane, 2000 and Teece et al., 1997)—depends on the fairness of the procedures that govern the relationship between these departments, the trust among functional managers, and the extent to which functional managers feel a strong identification with their organization and its goals. We present empirical evidence that such internal social contingencies can enhance or diminish the relationship between EO and performance. Our approach thus contributes to the scholarly conversation about EO by highlighting the importance of how a firm enacts the internal levers of its EO. The effective implementation of an entrepreneurial orientation depends on not only the processes through which strategic decisions are made in the organization (Covin et al., 2006) but also, as we show, the social nature of the processes that link managers to one another. We find an overall positive relationship between EO and performance, yet this relationship proves nuanced when we consider the nature of several social exchange processes within the firm. It is stronger and positive only at high levels of procedural justice, trust, and organizational commitment. The importance of procedural justice for the EO–performance relationship (Fig. 2, Panel A) aligns with previous research in the broader management literature, which attests to the benefits associated with maintaining fair procedures between exchange partners (Folger and Konovsky, 1989, Kim and Mauborgne, 1998, Korsgaard et al., 1995 and Sapienza and Korsgaard, 1996), and adds to our understanding of how EO operates within the firm. Nurturing an open exchange of ideas and opinions is encouraged when there is a certain level of procedural justice in the interactions between functional departments, which ensures that departmental interests are not compromised and that recognition and rewards are properly shared. Such open exchanges in turn are instrumental for the effective exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities (Eisenhardt and Martin, 2000, Ireland et al., 2003 and Kuratko et al., 2005). In contrast, organizations in which functional managers perceive that they are not treated fairly may experience suppression of individual initiative and cross-functional collaboration and thus find it difficult to leverage their entrepreneurial potential. Our results indicate that in such cases, performance can be lower at higher levels of EO, perhaps due to the disruption that poorly implemented initiatives can create. Similarly, our results (Fig. 2, Panel B) attest to the benefits of trust for the successful exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities. When functional managers have full confidence in one another's honesty and truthfulness, they experience less need to monitor potential defective behavior by others, have more time to invest in extensive knowledge exchange, and exhibit a higher motivation to share tacit knowledge (Yli-Renko et al., 2001 and Zaheer et al., 1998), which facilitates the effective implementation of EO. In contrast, at low levels of trust, the EO–performance relationship may turn negative, perhaps due to resistance to relinquish power when sharing knowledge (Kim and Mauborgne, 1998), which can be detrimental to the viability of the organization's entrepreneurial opportunities (Floyd and Lane, 2000). In such cases, poor knowledge exchange may exacerbate the uncertainty and costs associated with EO (Lumpkin and Dess, 1996). We observe a similar pattern with respect to the moderating effect of organizational commitment on the EO–performance relationship (Fig. 2, Panel C). Strong identification with their organization reflects functional managers' willingness to interact intensively and share a broad range of knowledge with organizational peers (De Clercq and Sapienza, 2006 and Kim, 1998). Whereas such interactions appear instrumental for the effective realization of the firm's EO, a lack of organizational commitment may prove counterproductive when, in the absence of strong emotional bonds with the organization, functional managers give up more easily in the face of the uncertainty or costs associated with entrepreneurial initiatives. Beyond the individual moderating effects of procedural justice, trust, and organizational commitment, we find a strong holistic, configurational effect of these three aspects of social exchange. Using a systems approach to organizational contingencies, we show that deviation from the “ideal” configuration of organizational factors can undermine the effective implementation of a firm's entrepreneurial posture (Drazin and Van de Ven, 1985, Ketchen et al., 1993, Ketchen et al., 1997 and Vorhies and Morgan, 2003). The relationship between EO and performance holds only when the organization's social context exhibits higher similarity to the ideal configuration of procedural justice, trust, and organizational commitment. We attribute this effect to the notion that these elements of the organization's social context reinforce one another in enhancing knowledge flows within the organization and thus channeling entrepreneurial orientation efforts toward successful performance (De Clercq and Sapienza, 2006 and Floyd and Lane, 2000). Although each of these social processes encourages people to cooperate, their simultaneous presence makes such cooperation more open, reciprocal, and sustainable (Kim and Mauborgne, 1998). If any of these elements of social context is deficient, it can gradually undermine the productive, cooperative climate within the organization and ultimately impede knowledge exchange when the organization seeks to exploit new opportunities. In short, a piecemeal focus on establishing procedural fairness, developing trust, or promoting organizational commitment can be ineffective for the success of the firm's entrepreneurial aspirations. 6.2. Limitations, future research, and practical implications We acknowledge several limitations to our study, whose consideration may offer opportunities for further research. First, the empirical context pertains to the collaboration between R&D-related functions and marketing-related functions. The R&D–marketing interface arguably plays a critical role in the implementation of an entrepreneurial posture, in that the successful development of new products or new market entry requires an appropriate match of market knowledge and technological know how (De Luca and Atuahene-Gima, 2007 and Leenders and Wierenga, 2002), yet this context may not be representative of all types of cross-functional collaboration taking place within organizations. Although we have no a priori reason to believe that the hypotheses developed herein would apply differently to other contexts—such as the interaction between R&D or marketing functions on one hand and finance-related functions on the other—future research could examine the external validity of our findings to other settings. Second, though we focus on only two types of cross-functional processes—procedural justice and (goodwill) trust—other factors such as distributive justice (Greenberg, 1990) or competence-based trust (McAllister, 1995 and Olson et al., 2007) could provide additional insights into the internal conditions that shape the relationship between EO and performance. Third, the cross-sectional nature of our data demands caution when drawing causal inferences, because the relationships we examine may be susceptible to reverse causality. Although we base our hypotheses on extant theory, managers in high-performing firms could become more committed, exhibit more goodwill toward their peers, or grow more willing to engage in activities that stimulate an entrepreneurial orientation. Further research should elucidate and distinguish among various internal causal processes by studying EO and performance over time. Fourth, further research could examine whether the interaction effects examined herein work differently across different performance outcomes, such as financial, operating, and marketing performance. Fifth, our results are based on firms in Canada. Although we do not expect much variation in the findings between the Canadian and other Western contexts, cultural factors could interfere with the arguments we apply, particularly when the dominant national culture may be at odds with the firm's internal social exchange climate (Hofstede, 2001). Our insights into the importance of intra-organizational social exchange for the successful realization of entrepreneurial aspirations also offer important managerial implications. When firms prepare to pursue new opportunities, top management should focus not only on the nature of the opportunities and navigating the external environments but also on attending to the social exchanges that permeate the relationships between key functional managers and encouraging the combination of knowledge and skills among them. Enacting rules that govern cross-functional collaboration in a fair manner or breeding trust among managers from different departments can decrease the odds that functional managers identify themselves as marketers, salespeople, product designers, or engineers. Instead, they may start thinking of each other as “partners” who share a common interest: the successful realization of the firm's entrepreneurial endeavors. When engaged in strong internal partnerships, they will devote less attention, time, and effort to “pie-sharing” activities (i.e., the fight for resources) and more to “pie-expanding” activities that benefit all parties. In addition, fostering an atmosphere that inspires commitment to the organization and its goals—perhaps through clearly defining and effectively communicating the firm's (entrepreneurial) mission and valuing each manager's contribution to that mission—can create an environment of free expression and knowledge exchange among different functional areas that should make the mission more attainable. In conclusion, we hope this study directs greater attention to the social contingencies through which entrepreneurially oriented firms achieve improved performance. This work offers a first attempt to advance understanding of the role of several internal social exchange mechanisms in this process and could serve as a stepping stone for a better understanding of how firms can translate their entrepreneurial posture into stronger market and competitive positions.