Entrepreneurial orientation (EO) has been viewed almost exclusively through the lens of profit-driven firms. However, individuals engage in entrepreneurship not only for economic reasons but also to enrich a community or to advance society. Drawing on upper echelons theory, the purpose of this paper is to address this issue by proposing that founders’ social identities shape the strategic choices of their ventures.
Drawing on the data from 318 founders in the early stages of their entrepreneurial activity, the study applies partial least squares structural equation modeling to empirically test whether founders’ social identities influence their ventures’ EO.
The findings of the current research show that founders whose dominant purpose is the creation of value for others are more likely to launch ventures oriented toward innovation. On the other hand, ventures of founders driven by economic self-interest accept more risk, which leads to higher performance outcomes on the enterprise, community and societal levels.
The study enhances the EO discussion by adding social identity theory as a way to explain different levels of EO in firms and answers the call for more diversity in EO–performance measurement by applying specific outcomes on the enterprise, community and societal levels to investigate whether a firm’s EO leads to the desired outcomes.
Brändle, L., Golla, S. and Kuckertz, A. (2019), "How entrepreneurial orientation translates social identities into performance", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 25 No. 7, pp. 1433-1451. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-12-2018-0804Download as .RIS
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