Strategic Entrepreneurial Response of Small and Medium Enterprises in Developing Economies

Kenneth M. K. Bengesi, Ingrid Le Roux


This study examined the influence of three dimensions of strategic entrepreneurial response, namely marketorientation, entrepreneurial orientation and networking capability on SME performance necessary for firms toface challenges in competitive environments. The research confirmed positive influence of the three dimensionsof strategic entrepreneurial response (SER), namely market orientation (MO), entrepreneurial orientation (EO)and network capabilities (NWC) on small and medium enterprise (SME) performance. The dimensions of SERexplained a significant amount of variance (50.1%) in SME performance, with the largest amount (27.1%) ofvariance accounted for by MO. The findings suggest that emphasis on MO is a firm’s strategic choice to generatestrategic information which forms a seedbed of opportunities from which entrepreneurial oriented firms identifyand proactively seize to build competitive advantage. Contrary to previous studies, which emphasized thatopportunity seeking behaviour is a domain of EO, this paper argues that MO is pivotal construct to the SER. Thispaper views EO as more driven by an advantage seeking behaviour rather than opportunity seeking behaviour asconceptualised before. With these findings, this paper suggest that sustained market orientation andentrepreneurial orientation cultures build opportunity seeking and advantage seeking behaviours, respectivelycrucial to create and sustain SME performance.

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International Journal of Business and Management   ISSN 1833-3850 (Print)   ISSN 1833-8119 (Online)

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