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Relating entrepreneurial orientation with operational responsiveness: Roles of competitive intensity and technological turbulence

Gurjeet Kaur Sahi (Department of Commerce, University of Jammu, Jammu, India)
Mahesh C. Gupta (College of Business, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA)
T.C.E. Cheng (Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Subhash C. Lonial (College of Business, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 3 June 2019

Issue publication date: 7 August 2019



Premised on dynamic capability theory, the purpose of this paper is to explore the link between entrepreneurial orientation (EO) and operational responsiveness (OR). In addition, grounded in contingency theory, the authors examine the roles of competitive intensity and technological turbulence in affecting the entrepreneurial orientation and OR link.


This study proposes that firms’ entrepreneurial initiatives in terms of innovativeness, proactiveness and risk-taking significantly affect their responsiveness. Competitive intensity and technological turbulence moderate the EO and OR relationship. Using hierarchical regression analysis, the authors analyze the data generated from a sample of 164 small-and-medium enterprises in the USA.


The findings show that entrepreneurial initiatives are instrumental in responding to market requirements, which in turn results in superior performance. The authors also find that the interactive effects of innovativeness/risk-taking and competitive intensity are significant and positive, while those of innovativeness/proactiveness and technological turbulence on responsiveness are significant but negative. These findings imply that OR is effective when the level of competitive intensity is high while technological turbulence is low.

Research limitations/implications

The authors conclude the paper by suggesting that entrepreneurial actions are pre-requisites for OR, which becomes effective only when the market experiences a moderate level of competition and a low level of technological change. The study provides implications for cross-functional research in the areas of entrepreneurship and operations management (OM) and also suggests future directions in this research stream.


Although responsiveness has been recognized as a critical competitive capability in the OM literature, its relationship with EO is not fully understood and has not been empirically tested. Moreover, the interplay between EO and competitive intensity/technological turbulence and their effects on effective OR have not been gauged in the past.



The authors are grateful to Associate Editor and two anonymous reviewers for their many helpful comments on earlier versions of the paper. Dr Subhash C. Lonial, Emeritus Professor of Marketing, University of Louisville, provided the database and guided the analysis presented in this paper. He was very keen to see this paper published in a leading journal. After a long and brave battle with lung cancer, Dr Lonial passed away without seeing his dream fulfilled. Whether scholars or not, “death is one thing of which we can all be certain.” The coauthors struggled in deciding how to ensure that the legacy of Dr Lonial’s work continues without getting bogged down in socially and religiously associated emotions. All the authors will agree that “all scholars alive today will one day no longer be with us” and thus would like to acknowledge his contribution posthumously. Dr T.C.E. Cheng was supported in part by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University under the Fung Yiu King – Wing Hang Bank Endowed Professorship in Business Administration. Gurjeet Kaur Sahi is now Associate Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Amritsar, India.


Sahi, G.K., Gupta, M.C., Cheng, T.C.E. and Lonial, S.C. (2019), "Relating entrepreneurial orientation with operational responsiveness: Roles of competitive intensity and technological turbulence", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 39 No. 5, pp. 739-766.



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