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Entrepreneurship Research Journal

Ed. by Alter, Theodore / Hughes, Mathew / Labaki, Rania / Lyons, Thomas / Mishra, Chandra / Mustafa, Michael / Zachary, Ramona K.

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Entrepreneurial Orientation and Firm Performance: Is Product Quality a Missing Link?

Yang Yang
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  • School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, 92 West Dazhi Street, Nan Gang District, Harbin 150001, China
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/ Xiao Feng Ju
  • School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, 92 West Dazhi Street, Nan Gang District, Harbin 150001, China
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Published Online: 2017-09-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/erj-2017-0091


Prior literatures have argued that the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance may be not as straightforward as expected. With EO–performance contingency framework, this study investigates how product quality mediates the relationship between EO and firm performance. Using survey data from 153 new ventures, we find that EO dimensions have non-uniform and non-linear, rather than merely linear, relationships with product quality. Specifically, the results reveal that innovativeness and autonomy may lead to superior product quality, however, risk-taking would decrease, not increase, product quality. Proactiveness has U-shaped, not inverse U-shaped, effect on product quality and competitive aggressiveness has U-shaped, not positive linear, effect on product quality. Our results enrich the EO-performance contingency framework and highlight the significance of concerning independent and unique effects of individual EO dimension.

Keywords: entrepreneurial orientation; firm performance; product quality; new ventures


  1. Product quality partially mediates the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance.

  2. Innovativeness increases product quality.

  3. Autonomy increases product quality.

  4. Risk-taking reduces, not increases, product quality.

  5. Proactiveness has U-shaped, not inverse U-shaped, effects on product quality.

  6. Competitive aggressiveness has U-shaped, not positive linear, effects on product quality.


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Published Online: 2017-09-05

Citation Information: Entrepreneurship Research Journal, Volume 8, Issue 1, 20170091, ISSN (Online) 2157-5665, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/erj-2017-0091.

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