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Entrepreneurial Orientation as a main Resource and Capability on Small Firm’s Growth

Ferreira, João and Azevedo, Susana (2007): Entrepreneurial Orientation as a main Resource and Capability on Small Firm’s Growth.


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This research provides a useful framework for identifying a small firms’ propensity to engage in entrepreneurial orientation. We examine the impact of the Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO) as a main resource and capability on small firm' growth. The growth seems to come out as an important demonstration of the entrepreneurial orientation of small firms (Davidsson, 1989; Green and Brown, 1997; Janney and Gregory, 2006). Thus, this research builds on prior conceptual research that suggests a positive integration between entrepreneurial orientation and resource-based view. In the first instance, the research will focus on reviewing literature in the emerging area of entrepreneurial orientation as it applies to growth oriented small firms and resource-based view of the firm. Secondly, an empirical study was developed based on a stratified sample of small firms of manufacturing industry. Data were submitted to a multivariate statistical analysis and a linear regression model was performed in order to predict the influence of the resources and capabilities on small firms' growth. In this sense, we consider the construct growth as a dependent variable and the ones relates with resources and capabilities (entrepreneur resources, firm resources, networks and EO) as independent variables. The research results suggest a set of resources and capabilities that promote the growth of the small firms. Also, the EO seems to have a predictive value on growth. Explaining variables related with resources and capabilities and EO were identified as essential in growth oriented small firms. It was still possible to conclude that the entrepreneurial firms which grew seem to have resources and develop more capabilities and take advantage in the search for those competences. This attitude reflects on the EO of the firm. This study has important implication for both researchers and practitioners. It highlights the necessity of firms to develop superior EO of all their members and also to invest on better resources and consequently superior capabilities as a way of reaching higher levels of growth. While previous authors have attempted to analyse certain aspects of this process (linkage between entrepreneurial orientation and growth), this research developed a framework that combines these and others factors (resource-based view) pertinent to growth oriented small firms. The results support the necessity to identify explicative variables of multiple levels to explain the growth of small firms. The adoption of an entrepreneurial orientation as an indispensable variable to the growth oriented small firms seems pertinent.

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