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The impact of the interaction between an entrepreneurial marketing orientation and coopetition on business performance

James M. Crick (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Masoud Karami (Business School, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)
Dave Crick (Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 19 March 2021

Issue publication date: 2 August 2021




Certain small businesses do not possess the assets needed to implement a performance-enhancing entrepreneurial marketing orientation (opportunity-driven behaviours focussed on creating value for customers). Although some entrepreneurs cooperate with their competitors (coopetition) to achieve their day-to-day and long-term goals, it is unclear whether these partnerships are advantageous in this capacity. Thus, grounded in the resource-based view, the purpose of this investigation is to examine whether coopetition positively moderates the relationship between an entrepreneurial marketing orientation and financial performance.


Survey responses were obtained from 184 small tourism and hospitality organisations in New Zealand. Following a series of robustness checks, covariance-based structural equation modelling was used to test the elements of the conceptual model.


Unique insights illustrate an entrepreneurial marketing orientation yielding a negative and significant link with financial performance. Nevertheless, this result was potentially related to the entrepreneurial marketing-oriented opportunities that owner-managers pursued within the context of their sector; in particular, situations when employing an individualistic business model constrained certain decision-makers' ability to pursue “growth-oriented” objectives. However, coopetition produced a positive and significant moderating effect, enabling owner-managers to pursue opportunities via collaborative business models facilitating mutually beneficial performance outcomes.

Practical implications

Owner-managers of under-resourced small firms should be careful when implementing entrepreneurial marketing strategies utilising an individualistic business model. For example, they might pursue opportunities that are not viable and/or become over-loaded with market intelligence that they cannot handle. By collaborating with competitors, owner-managers can learn improved ways to operate within their industries, alongside being equipped with new resources and capabilities. In doing so, coopetition can help overcome some of the potential performance-limiting issues owner-managers face by being under-resourced, namely, via employing a collaborative business model.


This current study contributes to the extant literature by evaluating the complexities of entrepreneurial marketing practices. That is, although earlier research has focussed on the performance-driving outcomes of an entrepreneurial marketing orientation, prior studies typically overlook certain moderating factors that could influence this association. By examining the interaction between an entrepreneurial marketing orientation and coopetition on financial performance, new evidence has emerged on how owner-managers of small firms can utilise interfirm collaboration to succeed within their markets, as opposed to struggling to cope with the challenges of an individualistic business model. Specifically, an entrepreneurial marketing orientation is likely to enhance financial performance when under-resourced companies effectively collaborate with their competitors.



Funding: Funding was received from Queenstown College where one of the authors previously worked until mid-2020.


Crick, J.M., Karami, M. and Crick, D. (2021), "The impact of the interaction between an entrepreneurial marketing orientation and coopetition on business performance", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 1423-1447.



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