The assumption that corporate entrepreneurship activities can be internally oriented (‘intrapreneurship’) or externally oriented (‘exopreneurship’) is widely accepted. However, most of the existing empirical research makes use of the theoretical construct of entrepreneurial orientation as a holistic measure of corporate entrepreneurship, without any distinction on the nature of the activities carried out. The focus of this study is shifted on the internal and external nature of actions undertaken to trigger the entrepreneurial orientation. Furthermore, it analyses if and how the balance between internal and external activities might vary under certain environmental conditions. The aim of the study is reached by using survey data from 224 Italian medium-sized firms operating in manufacturing industries. Implications of the findings and directions for future research are discussed.
Angelo Riviezzo and Antonella Garofano
The main aim of this study is to simultaneously investigate the impact of entrepreneurial orientation, market orientation and environmental conditions on international performance of SMEs. Moreover, the moderating role of domestic environment is examined, with the objective of gaining a greater understanding of whether certain environmental conditions may increase the significance of different strategic orientations. To this aim, we use survey data from 186 Italian SMEs operating in traditional manufacturing industries. Our results show that both entrepreneurial orientation and market orientation positively influence international performance of SMEs, while the relationship between domestic environment hostility and dynamism and international performance is negative. Furthermore, while the moderating influence of environmental characteristics on the relationship between EO and international performance is positive, the moderating influence of environmental characteristics on the relationship between MO and international performance is negative. Based on these results, domestic environment can be viewed as a contextual variable that is really critical in understanding the role of strategic and firm-level dimensions.