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The role of internationalization in entrepreneurial orientation-performance link: empirical study of SMEs in a developing nation perspective

Zaynab Dadzie (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)
Ahmed Agyapong (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)
Abdulai Suglo (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)

Review of International Business and Strategy

ISSN: 2059-6014

Article publication date: 28 December 2020

Issue publication date: 17 May 2021

498

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the mediating role of internationalization in the relationship between the dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation (EO) and performance, empirical study of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in a developing nation.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a sample of 158 exporting SMEs based in the sub-Saharan developing economy, Ghana. The use of hierarchical regression (ordinary least square analysis) was used by the researcher to assess the suggested model of the study.

Findings

Largely supporting the conjectural predictions, the study indicates that EO positively and significantly influences performance; internationalization fully mediates the relationship between innovativeness and performance of export firms; internationalization fully mediates the relationship between risk-taking and performance of export firms; and finally, internationalization partially mediates the relationship between competitive aggressiveness and performance of export firms. Managers are, therefore, encouraged to strategically develop both their EO and internationalization, as the study has confirmed that EO has both a direct and indirect relationship with performance.

Originality/value

This study integrated a resource-based view of the firm and international entrepreneurship theory as a theoretical foundation. Theoretically, internationalization’s mediating role reveals the relevance of this construct in the linkage between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance. Furthermore, the study extends the entrepreneurial orientation concept to the international business literature by estimating and testing models of the mediating link between entrepreneurial orientation and performance. Moreover, the study seeks to broaden the knowledge of entrepreneurial orientation and its relationship with performance in small and medium businesses. The study further extends the limited studies on performance, driven by entrepreneurial orientation and internationalization in a developing nation (Ghanaian) context. This paper besides seeks to highlight the impact of entrepreneurial orientation on performance when channeled through internationalization. The study also reveals the dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation to be important antecedents of internationalization, in attempts at unearthing the critical predictors of firm performance, especially those of international characteristics.

Keywords

Citation

Dadzie, Z., Agyapong, A. and Suglo, A. (2021), "The role of internationalization in entrepreneurial orientation-performance link: empirical study of SMEs in a developing nation perspective", Review of International Business and Strategy, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 257-280. https://doi.org/10.1108/RIBS-09-2019-0126

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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