n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - Planning flexibility and entrepreneurial orientation : a focus on SME performance and the influence of environmental perceptions




Recognising the importance of an entrepreneurial orientation (EO) to the survival and performance of a firm this study's contribution is to empirically test the linkage between planning flexibility, EO and firm performance. Moreover, it is argued that this relationship is influenced by environmental perceptions, since small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are usually more vulnerable than larger firms when facing a dynamic external environment. Using a structured questionnaire, a sample of 133 SMEs was surveyed. Regression analysis was used to address the proposed hypotheses. The results reveal a weak but positive relationship between planning flexibility, EO and performance. Additionally, the EO dimension of proactiveness was positively related to SME performance, resulting in the relationship being more positive when the environment is perceived as more munificent and hostile. Practical implications are that owner-managers need to understand and leverage the practice of planning flexibility in a manner that will lead to higher levels of EO.


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