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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2021

Esteban Lafuente, Suyen Alonso-Ubieta, Juan Carlos Leiva and Ronald Mora-Esquivel

This study evaluates the relationship between the entrepreneurial ecosystem and business competitiveness in four different contexts (i.e. France, Spain, Hungary and Costa Rica).

Abstract

Purpose

This study evaluates the relationship between the entrepreneurial ecosystem and business competitiveness in four different contexts (i.e. France, Spain, Hungary and Costa Rica).

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a sample of 348 manufacturing and knowledge-intensive business service firms operating in four countries with different entrepreneurial ecosystems (France, Spain, Costa Rica and Hungary) for 2019. Firm competitiveness is computed via the “benefit-of-the-doubt” (BOD) method, and a multilevel model is employed to assess the connection between the entrepreneurial ecosystem and firm competitiveness.

Findings

The results of the multilevel model indicate that the entrepreneurial ecosystem is related to firm competitiveness, while the BOD results suggest that firms operating in settings with a more consolidated entrepreneurial ecosystem are better able to realize the outcomes of strategic choices linked to the exploitation of key resources and capabilities. Country-specific results suggest that “human capital” is the most relevant competitive pillar prioritized by all sampled businesses.

Originality/value

The proposed analysis of the connection between the entrepreneurial ecosystem and business competitiveness in different contexts contributes to the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem frame by offering insights into how the properties of the entrepreneurial ecosystem (i.e. interactions among individuals, organizations and institutions) can produce economically meaningful effects on business performance.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 May 2020

Krisztina Horváth and Esteban Lafuente

This study aims to evaluate how the configuration of competitive pillars impacts businesses' competitive efficiency by using a non-parametric model, namely, data envelopment…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to evaluate how the configuration of competitive pillars impacts businesses' competitive efficiency by using a non-parametric model, namely, data envelopment analysis (DEA), with a single constant input.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed DEA model evaluates technical inefficiency, which results from differences in the availability and allocation of resources, and configuration inefficiency, which we link to differences in the way businesses amalgamate their competitive pillars. The sample includes 115 Spanish businesses operating in manufacturing, construction, retail and knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) sectors.

Findings

The results reveal that, on an average, firms can improve their overall competitive efficiency by 53.53%. The findings suggest that the configuration of competitive pillars has important implications for efficiency analyses: human capital and strategy are the most relevant aspects shaping competitive efficiency in manufacturing and construction firms; whereas innovation emerges as the most relevant competitive aspect driving competitive efficiency in KIBS firms.

Originality/value

The novelty of this study lies in the analysis of competitive efficiency in a model where efficiency can be explained by overall (industry-specific) competitive efficiency within the industry and by strategic choices on how resources and capabilities are combined within the business.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal , vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 May 2019

Esteban Lafuente, Angela Solano, Juan Carlos Leiva and Ronald Mora-Esquivel

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the relationship between organisational learning capabilities (OLCs) and innovation performance (IP) in organisational contexts where…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the relationship between organisational learning capabilities (OLCs) and innovation performance (IP) in organisational contexts where knowledge creation and exploitation are the business’ main source of competitive advantage.

Design/methodology/approach

The study hypotheses are tested on a unique sample of 74 high-performance businesses operating in knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) industries and non-knowledge intensive sectors in 2016. The study employs a sequential deductive triangulation analysis (QUAN → qual) based on linear regression models and qualitative interviews.

Findings

The results indicate that OLCs positively impact IP. Additionally, the findings reveal that this relationship is stronger in organisations where knowledge creation and exploitation constitute the main source of competitive advantage, namely, KIBS firms.

Research limitations/implications

This paper offers insights into how the innovation outcomes of OLCs are heterogeneous across industries. This study contributes to a better understanding of the conditions under which the effects of developing learning-enhancing strategies occur in businesses operating in different industries.

Practical implications

Both knowledge generation and exploitation processes are critical for business success, and OLCs play a decisive role in this process. In this sense, the results suggest that managers need to turn their attention to the characteristics of business operations when considering the development of strategies aimed at enhancing OLCs.

Originality/value

The paper further explores the influence of OLCs on IP by analysing how organisational learning strategies interact with relevant organisational characteristics – that are linked here to the exploitation of knowledge-based resources – to yield superior IP.

Propósito

Este trabajo analiza la relación entre capacidades de aprendizaje organizativo y desempeño innovador en contextos organizacionales donde tanto la creación como la explotación de conocimiento constituyen la principal fuente de ventaja competitiva de las empresas.

Diseño/metodología/enfoque

Para la verificación empírica de las hipótesis planteadas en este trabajo se emplea una base de datos del 2016 que incluye información de 74 empresas ‘gacela’ que operan en sectores de servicios intensivos en conocimiento (KIBS) y en industrias no intensivas en conocimiento. El estudio utiliza un análisis de triangulación secuencial deductiva (QUAN → qual) basado en modelos de regresión lineal y entrevistas en profundidad de corte cualitativo.

Resultados

Los resultados indican que las capacidades de aprendizaje organizativo impactan positivamente el desempeño innovador. Además, los resultados revelan que esta relación es más pronunciada en empresas – empresas KIBS – donde la creación y la explotación de conocimiento son la principal fuente de ventaja competitiva.

Limitaciones/implicaciones de la investigación

Este trabajo ofrece resultados sobre la heterogeneidad de los rendimientos de las capacidades de aprendizaje organizativo, en términos de innovación. Además, este estudio contribuye a un mejor entendimiento de las condiciones bajo las cuales la implantación de estrategias orientadas a mejorar el aprendizaje organizacional se materializa en un mayor desempeño innovador en empresas que operan en distintos sectores económicos.

Implicaciones prácticas

Tanto la creación como la explotación de conocimiento son procesos clave para el éxito empresarial, y las capacidades de aprendizaje organizativo juegan un papel fundamental en este proceso. En este sentido, los resultados del estudio sugieren que los directores y gestores de empresas deben tener en consideración las características de los procesos operativos de sus empresas a la hora de diseñar e implementar estrategias que buscan mejorar las capacidades de aprendizaje organizativo al interior de la empresa.

Originalidad/valor

Este trabajo investiga en profundidad el efecto de las capacidades de aprendizaje organizativo sobre el desempeño innovador mediante un análisis que busca explicar cómo las estrategias de aprendizaje organizativo interactúan con importantes características de la empresa – las cuales asociamos a la explotación de recursos basados en conocimiento – para generar mayores niveles de desempeño innovador dentro de la empresa.

Article
Publication date: 8 June 2021

Esteban Lafuente and Yancy Vaillant

This study aims to contrast the disparities in optimal competitiveness configurations across international economies. Additionally, we analyse the competitive efficiency across…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to contrast the disparities in optimal competitiveness configurations across international economies. Additionally, we analyse the competitive efficiency across firms of different performance endowments to identify distinctions and determine whether standardised or customised competitiveness configurations are optimal.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a multilevel regression model to confirm country-specific effects followed by a non-parametric “Benefit-of-the-Doubt” (BoD) method to conduct an international comparison of the competitive efficiency of top- and poor-performing firms across eight European and Latin American economies.

Findings

Not only are national ecosystems significant differentiators of competitive efficiency, but contras firm-level characteristics also explain these differences. It is found that more recent start-ups tend to experience significantly greater competitive efficiency. However, by separating the top-performing firms from the poor performers in each economy, it is found that the configurational outputs that potentially contribute most to competitive efficiency are not necessarily the same; while “technology” is a key factor for driving the competitive efficiency of top-performing firms, “market” drivers are most essential for improving the competitive potential of poor performers.

Originality/value

The configurational outputs that potentially contribute most to competitive efficiency are not necessarily universal.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 November 2018

Esteban Lafuente, Yancy Vaillant and Jorge Moreno-Gómez

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how different strategic choices related to the transitions in-and-out of exporting (export entry, export persistence, export exit) impact…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how different strategic choices related to the transitions in-and-out of exporting (export entry, export persistence, export exit) impact employment growth in Romanian small- and medium-sized businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

Using linear regression models on a sample of 566 Romanian SMEs, The authors model employment growth as a function of three different dimensions of foreign market participation: export entry, persistence and exit.

Findings

Results indicate that exporting is positively associated with employment growth. The findings reveal that the different strategic choices linked to exporting have a differentiating impact on employment growth: while employment growth is more pronounced among new exporters which points to the presence of an impulse effect of exporting, businesses that interrupt their exporting activities report employment losses.

Research limitations/implications

This study underlines the relevance of distinguishing the specific impact of the different export behaviours related to the transitions in-and-out of exporting.

Practical implications

The results of the study fuel the debate on the relevance of promoting policies that encourage exporting among small businesses operating in emerging economies.

Originality/value

This study presents an original analysis of the distinctive effect that different forms of export behaviour related to the transitions in-and-out of exporting have on employment growth. The relevance of this study not only flows from the particular empirical design that simultaneously evaluates different export choices and their specific impact on employment growth.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 13 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 May 2020

Esteban Lafuente, László Szerb and András Rideg

The analysis of the interconnectedness between resources and capabilities, and the way businesses use them as competitive weapons is a central element of the strategic management…

Abstract

Purpose

The analysis of the interconnectedness between resources and capabilities, and the way businesses use them as competitive weapons is a central element of the strategic management literature. Finding the appropriate configuration of competitive pillars is particularly relevant for resource-constrained small businesses. Drawing on the resource-based view and the configuration theory, this study evaluates the effect of both competitiveness and the configuration of the competitiveness system on performance.

Design/methodology/approach

An index methodology based on the configuration theory was used to compute the competitiveness index on a unique sample of 625 Hungarian small- and medium-sized firms. The study hypotheses were tested via regression analysis.

Findings

Results show that the impact of competitiveness-enhancing strategies is conditional on the configuration of the system of competencies. Low-competitive businesses benefit more from investments in the weakest competitive pillar, while strategies oriented to improve more than one competitive pillar yield higher competitiveness improvements among high-competitive businesses. Our findings also indicate that competitiveness positively impacts performance, and that the exploitation of competitive strengths leads to superior results among high-competitive businesses.

Originality/value

By employing an index methodology, our analysis contributes to unveil how competitiveness impact business performance. The proposed analysis has value for scholars and strategy makers by showing how the configuration of the business' competitive system—in terms of competitive strengths and weaknesses—conditions the generally positive impact of competitiveness enhancing actions linked to the acquisition or development of resources and capabilities.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 January 2020

Jorge Moreno-Gómez and Esteban Lafuente

Building on the resource-based view and the configuration theory, the purpose of this study uses a systemic and multidimensional competitiveness index (CI) i.e. that incorporates…

Abstract

Purpose

Building on the resource-based view and the configuration theory, the purpose of this study uses a systemic and multidimensional competitiveness index (CI) i.e. that incorporates system constraints among the 10 competitive pillars that form the index to assess the competitiveness level and the connection between competitiveness and economic performance [return on assets (ROA)] in family businesses (FBs).

Design/methodology/approach

For the empirical application, the use a unique primary data set drawn from the global competitiveness project (www.gcp.org) that includes information for 77 Colombian FBs for 2017. Cluster analysis is used to evaluate the potential relationship between competitiveness, the configuration of competitive pillars and economic performance (ROA).

Findings

The results for the CI show that the main competitive strengths of the analysed firms are related to the introduction of product innovations and networks (suppliers and customers), while the limited use of technologies in their operations and the low online presence are the main competitive weaknesses of these firms. Additionally, the findings of the cluster analysis reveal that different configurations of competitiveness pillars are associated with different performance levels. Therefore, the results contribute to identifying how specific strategies aimed at improving different resources or capabilities contribute to enhance business competitiveness, and ultimately, performance.

Originality/value

By using an index number that takes into account the multiple interactions between resources and capabilities, the proposed analysis not only sheds light on the drivers of competitiveness i.e. resources and capabilities, and its connection to performance but also contributes to understanding the boundaries of the businesses’ competitiveness system, as well as the strategies that can potentially enhance competitiveness, and subsequently, business performance.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal , vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 November 2018

Yancy Vaillant and Esteban Lafuente

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of past entrepreneurial experience on the reported innovativeness of serial entrepreneurs’ subsequent ventures.

1723

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of past entrepreneurial experience on the reported innovativeness of serial entrepreneurs’ subsequent ventures.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on insights from the generative entrepreneurial learning process and from cognition theories, the authors propose that regardless of the type of entrepreneurial experience, positive or negative, such experience enriches the cognitive schemas of serial entrepreneurs leading them to greater reported innovativeness. The proposed hypotheses are tested on a unique sample drawn from a Catalan adult population survey.

Findings

Results reveal that practical experience is an essential prerequisite for entrepreneurial learning, and even negative entrepreneurial experience may induce generative entrepreneurial learning suitable for subsequent outperforming ventures for the psychologically strong who have managed to learn from their experience.

Practical implications

The importance of this study stretches beyond a purely academic discussion and has implications for policy making within the area of business and economic development. Appropriate policy depends on the likeliness for serial entrepreneurs to improve. Thus, if serial entrepreneurs learn from their venturing experiences and/or acquire valuable knowledge from them, they may perform better, on average, in subsequent ventures. If subsequent ventures do build upon prior entrepreneurial experiences, calls for policy to encourage re-entries by entrepreneurs may be warranted, even if those entrepreneurs performed poorly in their previous ventures.

Originality/value

The authors analyze the impact of past performance of serial entrepreneurs on the reported innovativeness of their subsequence ventures. The contributions of this study stand as: the inclusion of the re-entry decision together with the innovativeness decision of entrepreneurs within the same model; separation of the positive or negative nature of serial entrepreneurs’ past experiences; focus on the entrepreneur rather than the firm as a unit of analysis; the use of a unique primary data set specifically collected for the purpose of this study about the past entrepreneurial experience of the Catalan adult population.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 57 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 September 2018

Yancy Vaillant and Esteban Lafuente

The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether business owners that simultaneously demonstrate past entrepreneurial experience and process agility have greater export propensity…

1720

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether business owners that simultaneously demonstrate past entrepreneurial experience and process agility have greater export propensity levels.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed hypotheses are tested using binary choice models relating past entrepreneurial experience and reported process agility on a unique sample of 246 Catalan business owners for the year 2010.

Findings

Consistent with the theoretical arguments on the relevance of generative-based cognitive agility, the results of this paper reveal that serial entrepreneurs demonstrate a greater export propensity. Additionally, the authors found that serial entrepreneurs who also demonstrate process agility show superior export propensity levels, compared to the group of business owners outside this ambidextrous group (first-time business owners without process agility).

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study indicate that traits characterizing international marketing agility, decisional speed and accuracy are also linked with greater export propensity levels. The added export market expansion resulting from the opportunity responsiveness of serial entrepreneurs is found to be amplified by the accuracy of internal adaptation capabilities of process agility.

Practical implications

Therefore, the promotion of ambidextrous strategic agility coming from the complementarities between the benefits of entrepreneurial experience and adaptive process abilities is essential for increasing businesses’ internationalization.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature by further exploring the influence of different sources of agility on the internationalization of entrepreneurial ventures and opens a link between entrepreneurs prone toward export market expansion and international marketing agility.

Article
Publication date: 7 March 2018

Jorge Moreno-Gómez, Esteban Lafuente and Yancy Vaillant

This paper aims to investigate how gender diversity in top management – i.e. boardroom and top management positions – affects business performance among Colombian public…

9040

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how gender diversity in top management – i.e. boardroom and top management positions – affects business performance among Colombian public businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on the upper echelon theory which emphasizes that gender in an important characteristic that influences top management’s decision-making, panel data models are used on a sample of 54 Colombian public businesses for the period 2008-2015 to test the proposed hypotheses relating to gender diversity and subsequent business performance.

Findings

The results support that gender diversity is positively associated with subsequent business performance. More concretely, the relationship between gender diversity at the top of the corporate hierarchy – in the present case, as CEO and in the top management team – and subsequent performance becomes more evident when performance is linked to business operations (ROA), whereas the positive effect of women’s representation in the boardroom and subsequent performance is significant when performance is measured via shareholder-oriented metrics (ROE).

Originality/value

Few studies have addressed the role of gender diversity on performance in developing economies. This study contributes to better understand how gender diversity affects performance in contexts where women are underrepresented in the top management, and where the appointment of women directors or managers is not driven by regulatory pressures.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

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