European Research in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Alain Fayolle, Paula Kyrö, Tonis Mets and Urve Venesaar
Chapter 10: Entrepreneurial orientation and market orientation in SMEs: an explorative study
A growing academic interest in understanding how firms can face high competition and rapid changes characterizing present scenarios, surviving and succeeding over long periods of time, has driven many studies on strategic orientations. In particular, significant attention has been given to the importance of balancing the ability to fully meet current markets and the ability to seize new market opportunities. Firms cannot just oversee the market in which they are consolidated players, but they must simultaneously identify innovations giving rise to new value propositions and new markets in the long run. As it has long been discussed in the literature, there is not necessarily a trade-off between the two strategic orientations of market exploitation and market exploration (March, 1991; Levinthal and March, 1993; Tushman and O’Reilly, 1996). It is plausible to imagine, in fact, that some organizations put more emphasis on the continuous search for new knowledge-based resources necessary to ensure discontinuous innovations, characterized by change, experimentation, flexibility and risk-taking. Others are more focused on incremental innovation based on the existing knowledge to strengthen processes, structures and skills and continue to compete in existing markets.
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