n South African Journal of Business Management - Entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance : a comparative study of Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland

Volume 45, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2078-5585


As noted by numerous studies entrepreneurial orientation (EO) is assumed to have a positive effect on firm performance. However, there is an ongoing debate concerning the importance of each of the constructs' dimensions namely innovativeness, proactiveness and risk-taking and the respective impact of environmental factors. Therefore, the objective of this study is to investigate the influence of the EO dimensions on the performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in different but neighboring countries. The focus is on the Rhine Valley, a region that covers parts of Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Based on a telephone survey responses from 304 business owners and CEOs in the Rhine Valley were collected. Multiple regression analysis shows that firm performance is affected by innovativeness and risk-taking and surprisingly not by proactiveness. The findings reveal that firms in different countries show different configurations of EO dimensions. Therefore, our results suggest that firm performance depends on each EO dimension with regard to environmental aspects. Practical as well as theoretical implications are discussed and recommendations for future research are proposed.

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