Environmental Conditions, Entrepreneur Alertness and Social Capital on Performance

  •  Yu-Li Lin    
  •  Hsiu-Wen Liu    
  •  Fengzeng Xu    
  •  Hao Wang    


This study addresses the important question of causal complexity as it relates to the influence of social capital, entrepreneurial alertness and the entrepreneurship environment on business performance. Using a relatively new methodological approach, namely fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), this paper aims to investigate alternative complex antecedent conditions (or causal recipes) that lead to high performance. Based on a survey of 194 entrepreneurs in China, this paper shows that business performance is likely to be the result of a combination of causal factors. This study finds that: (1) four different configurations of social capital, entrepreneurial alertness and entrepreneurship environment were “equifinal” causes of high performance, and (2) market openness should fit other environmental conditions to achieve high performance. This study contributes to research on entrepreneurship by applying the ideas of “equifinality” and “fit” to entrepreneurial characteristics and environment theory.

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