Abstract

Entrepreneurial and strategic research links the growth and performance of the new firm to the degree of its entrepreneurial orientation (EO), or its willingness to innovate, take risks, and be proactive relative to opportunities (Miller, 1983; Covin & Slevin, 1989). In this study, we test the EO-performance relationship on a sample of small and medium-sized enterprises in Northeast and Southeast China (n = 195), focusing on the moderating effect of resource endowments. Results indicate that when the resource endowment is poor, the relationship between EO and performance is curvilinear (inverted “U”-shaped). When the resource endowment is munificent, the relationship is also curvilinear, but with the opposite shape (“U”-shaped). Our findings bring to the fore the complex relationship between EO and performance in resource-constrained emerging markets and indicate that a configurational approach to entrepreneurial orientation should be given more attention in both theory and practice.

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