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Strategic priorities and competitiveness of businesses operating in different entrepreneurial ecosystems: a benefit of the doubt (BOD) analysis

Esteban Lafuente (Department of Management, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Barcelona Tech), Barcelona, Spain)
Suyen Alonso-Ubieta (Centre of Economic Policy for Sustainable Development (CINPE), Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, Heredia, Costa Rica)
Juan Carlos Leiva (Business School, Tecnologico de Costa Rica, Cartago, Costa Rica)
Ronald Mora-Esquivel (Business School, Tecnologico de Costa Rica, Cartago, Costa Rica)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 5 May 2021

Issue publication date: 23 July 2021

247

Abstract

Purpose

This study evaluates the relationship between the entrepreneurial ecosystem and business competitiveness in four different contexts (i.e. France, Spain, Hungary and Costa Rica).

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a sample of 348 manufacturing and knowledge-intensive business service firms operating in four countries with different entrepreneurial ecosystems (France, Spain, Costa Rica and Hungary) for 2019. Firm competitiveness is computed via the “benefit-of-the-doubt” (BOD) method, and a multilevel model is employed to assess the connection between the entrepreneurial ecosystem and firm competitiveness.

Findings

The results of the multilevel model indicate that the entrepreneurial ecosystem is related to firm competitiveness, while the BOD results suggest that firms operating in settings with a more consolidated entrepreneurial ecosystem are better able to realize the outcomes of strategic choices linked to the exploitation of key resources and capabilities. Country-specific results suggest that “human capital” is the most relevant competitive pillar prioritized by all sampled businesses.

Originality/value

The proposed analysis of the connection between the entrepreneurial ecosystem and business competitiveness in different contexts contributes to the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem frame by offering insights into how the properties of the entrepreneurial ecosystem (i.e. interactions among individuals, organizations and institutions) can produce economically meaningful effects on business performance.

Keywords

Citation

Lafuente, E., Alonso-Ubieta, S., Leiva, J.C. and Mora-Esquivel, R. (2021), "Strategic priorities and competitiveness of businesses operating in different entrepreneurial ecosystems: a benefit of the doubt (BOD) analysis", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 1351-1377. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-06-2020-0425

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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