Abstract

In a special issue on strategic entrepreneurship in the Strategic Management Journal Hitt et al. (2001) emphasize the necessity to integrate the fields of entrepreneurship and strategic management as well as other research streams. We contribute to this claim by studying the performance of small firms in an integrated contingency framework that contains aspects of entrepreneurial posture, strategic content (innovation and internationalization) and environmental conditions.

Entrepreneurial posture, innovation and internationalization have been theoretically and empirically linked to performance. However, reviews of the empirical literature show that findings on the direction and magnitude of performance effects vary. Controversies may be attributable to variations in contextual factors. Prime candidates for moderators are environmental conditions. Because small firms suffer from liabilities of smallness outcomes of entrepreneurial strategies may largely depend on characteristics of the firms’ external environment. Thus, studying the effectiveness of entrepreneurial posture and entrepreneurial strategies in a contingency framework provides further insights to research on strategy in small businesses. In this paper, we derive hypotheses on direct performance effects of entrepreneurial posture, innovation and internationalization as well as interaction effects with environmental hostility and uncertainty.

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