This study aims to examine the mediating role of internationalization in the relationship between the dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation (EO) and performance, empirical study of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in a developing nation.Design/methodology/approachThe study uses a sample of 158 exporting SMEs based in the sub-Saharan developing economy, Ghana. The use of hierarchical regression (ordinary least square analysis) was used by the researcher to assess the suggested model of the study.FindingsLargely supporting the conjectural predictions, the study indicates that EO positively and significantly influences performance; internationalization fully mediates the relationship between innovativeness and performance of export firms; internationalization fully mediates the relationship between risk-taking and performance of export firms; and finally, internationalization partially mediates the relationship between competitive aggressiveness and performance of export firms. Managers are, therefore, encouraged to strategically develop both their EO and internationalization, as the study has confirmed that EO has both a direct and indirect relationship with performance.Originality/valueThis study integrated a resource-based view of the firm and international entrepreneurship theory as a theoretical foundation. Theoretically, internationalization’s mediating role reveals the relevance of this construct in the linkage between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance. Furthermore, the study extends the entrepreneurial orientation concept to the international business literature by estimating and testing models of the mediating link between entrepreneurial orientation and performance. Moreover, the study seeks to broaden the knowledge of entrepreneurial orientation and its relationship with performance in small and medium businesses. The study further extends the limited studies on performance, driven by entrepreneurial orientation and internationalization in a developing nation (Ghanaian) context. This paper besides seeks to highlight the impact of entrepreneurial orientation on performance when channeled through internationalization. The study also reveals the dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation to be important antecedents of internationalization, in attempts at unearthing the critical predictors of firm performance, especially those of international characteristics.
Review of International Business and Strategy – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 17, 2021
Keywords: Internationalization; Performance; Entrepreneurial orientation; Small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs); Entrepreneurial orientation (EO)
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