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Entrepreneurial orientation and international performance: A contingent approach

Reshaping the Boundaries of the Firm in an Era of Global Interdependence

ISBN: 978-0-85724-087-3, eISBN: 978-0-85724-088-0

Publication date: 12 November 2010


Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to study how dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation (competitive aggressiveness, proactiveness and risk taking) affect international performance in competitive and technology-intensive international environments.

Methodology/approach – To address the research questions, structural equation modelling is applied to Finnish survey data (N=271).

Findings – Our findings reveal that the dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation are differentially related to international performance, and that their effect is contingent on moderating variables.

Research limitations – One limitation is the use of cross-sectional data as it limits the possibility of drawing strong conclusions from the development of the relationships between the different constructs. Also the fact that the study was conducted in a single-country setting is a limitation.

Practical implications – Results indicate that entrepreneurial behaviour is of importance for international business managers. However, results imply that prior to striving for proactive behaviour, competitive aggressiveness and venturesome risk taking managers should study their international market environments carefully and truly understand the nature of these turbulent markets, as in many occasions strong emphasis on entrepreneurial behaviour did not contribute positively to the international performance indicators, such as increasing sales and profits.

Originality/value of the chapter – Present study extends the works of Zahra and Garvis (2000), Lumpkin and Dess (2001) and Wiklund and Shepherd (2005), for example, by (a) applying entrepreneurial orientation on international business, (b) examining the effects of different dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation on a firm's international performance and (c) extending the research of the role of moderating effects on the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance.


Kuivalainen, O., Sundqvist, S. and Cadogan, J.W. (2010), "Entrepreneurial orientation and international performance: A contingent approach", Pla-Barber, J. and Alegre, J. (Ed.) Reshaping the Boundaries of the Firm in an Era of Global Interdependence (Progress in International Business Research, Vol. 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 271-298.



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