Financial performance impacts of corporate entrepreneurship in emerging markets: A case of Turkey

Tags: European Journal of Economics, Finance And Administrative Sciences, performance, financial performance, Proactiveness, competitive advantage, Innovativeness, market share, top managers, corporate entrepreneurship, Turkey, relationship, Academy of Management Review, Organization Structure, The Academy of Management Review, Harvard University Press, Schumpeter J.A., Entrepreneurship, Theory of Economic Development, Journal of Business Venturing, European Journal of Economics, Finance, Finance Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Management Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, national firms, Yasar University, Administrative Sciences, Stopford J., Schuler R. S., Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, Entrepreneurial Orientation, empirical model, respondents, firms, firm, entrepreneurial spirit, Dess, Financial Performance Drucker, Ireland, performance measurement, Zahra, invitation letters, surveys, Aggressiveness, Human Resource Management, Strategic Management Journal, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, financial performance impacts, developing economies, invitation letter, research model, importance of entrepreneurship, Human Resources Practices
Content: European Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Sciences ISSN 1450-2275 Issue 12 (2008) © EuroJournals, Inc. 2008 Financial Performance Impacts of Corporate Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets: A Case of Turkey* Bora Aktan Assistant Professor of Finance Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Yasar University, Izmir, Turkey Tel: +90-232-4115000; Fax: +90-232-4115020 E-mail: [email protected] Cagri Bulut Assistant Professor of Management Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Yasar University, Izmir, Turkey Tel: +90-232-4115000; Fax: +90-232-4115020 E-mail: [email protected] Abstract The aim of this study is to examine the effects of four sub-dimensions of corporate entrepreneurship (hereafter CE) on firms' financial performance in Turkey. The research of this study has been conducted from 2032 respondents of 312 firms which are largely active in Turkey as an emerging economy. Concerning research data have been gathered by the SOBAG Project 104K117, which is supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. To test the financial performance effects of CE, the scales for the dimensions of CE and financial performance have been adopted from the existing literature. A series of reliability and validity tests are conducted for the measurement of the scales. Confirmatory factor analysis and multiple Regression Analysis have been conducted to test the hypotheses. The results of this research will provide guidelines to help investors, managers, and also academicians to comprehend the importance of CE well on the way to create financially successful firm performance and sustain it in developing countries. Keywords: Financial Performance, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Risk-Taking, Competitive Aggressiveness, Innovativeness, Proactiveness. 1. Introduction The studies on firms' corporate entrepreneurship (hereafter CE) have grown rapidly in the last two decades. Increasing intensity of competitiveness in both local and global markets has revealed the significant role of entrepreneurship in established companies to develop a competitive advantage and sustain it (Zahra et al. 2000). CE is conceptualized within the combinations of proactiveness, risk taking, innovativeness, and competitive aggressiveness (Covin and Covin 1990; Covin and Slevin 1991; Lumpkin and Dess 1996; Birkinshaw 1999; Covin and Miles 1999; Pittaway 2001; Dess, Ireland, Zahra, Floyd, Janney and Lane 2003). * The authors are grateful to The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), SOBAG Project 104K117 for the use of the related empirical data on CE and Financial Performance, and would also like to thank to the review committee of the 35th Academy of International Business Conference on "Challenging in International Business", held at Portsmouth Business School, Portsmouth, UK, 2008 for their immense contribution.
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The studies on CE in developed economies particularly after 1990's have demonstrated entrepreneurial activities within the firms provide successful firm performance (i.e. Pinchot 1985; Zahra and Covin 1995; Barringer and Bluedorn 1999; Lumpkin and Dess 2001; Hornsby, Kuratko and Zahra 2002). Flexible and competitive organizational structure and firm culture can be obtained by strategic orientations­ i.e. CE- to deal against competition and high market dynamism, creation of dynamic. However, the studies on strategic orientations, particularly on CE, have been neglected in developing nations, such as Turkey. This study investigates CE with its multi-dimensional structure as congruent with the literature in a developing market with a case of Turkey: (1) Proactiveness, (2) Risk Taking, (3) Innovativeness, and (4) Competitive Aggressiveness (Lumpkin and Dess 1996, 2001; Barringer and Bluedorn 1999; Pittaway 2001). In developing countries, external environmental conditions, such as the competitive effects of globalization and the frequent financial crises, force national firms to identify the opportunities and threats to be more entrepreneurial, adaptive, and innovative to sustain their competitiveness (Mintzberg 1973; Miller and Friesen 1978; Slater and Narver 1994; Appiah-Adu and Singh 1998; Barringer and Bluedorn 1999). Increasing intensity of competitiveness in local and global markets, financial performance impacts of CE for national firms are becoming critical to create a national competitive advantage and sustain it. Both scholars and practitioners remain interested in studying and better understanding corporate entrepreneurship and its consequences (Dess, Ireland, Zahra, Floyd, Janney and Lane 2003). The aim of this study is to examine the effects of four sub-dimensions of CE on firms' financial performance within a developing country, Turkey. This study consists of six sections; after this introduction the brief literature of financial performance and the dimensions of CE have been discussed. Hypotheses of the study have been developed within the discussion of the literature in the third section. The data collection procedure, sample and methodology of the research have been presented within the fourth section. Analysis and findings have been presented in the fifth section. In the final section, some useful ideas have been suggested to particularly both practitioners and academicians who are or willing to be active in emerging economies.
2. Financial Performance and Corporate Entrepreneurship 2.1. Financial Performance A firm's finances and operations are integrally connected1. Studies have shown that the concept of corporate performance is multidimensional in nature (Venkatraman and Ramanujam 1986). Within corporate performance, the focus has always been on the financial side, hence it is traditionally defined in financial terms. In addition, investors, shareholders and other stakeholders are interested in to get information about the firms' performance conditions frequently. Financial information (ie. return on investments, return on equity, growth of sales, profitability etc.) is the most extensively explicit and valid information among the other performance dimensions. On the other hand financial information should also be available particularly for regulatory and supervisory bodies for auditing the certain fiscal issues and taxations. The extent to which this financial information should be disclosed is dependent upon the firms' characters -i.e. being private or public character of a firm, its size, or the company's being listed or unlisted. Financial performance refers as a firm's ability to generate new resources from day to day operations over a given period of time2. The financial performance measures can be divided into two major types3: (1) traditional measures based on accounting/financial data (i.e. the effect of actions on one year's profits, ROI, ROE, etc.) which reflect a firm's past performance; and (2) market-based 1 In this study, the terms "firm", "company", "corporation" and "organization" used as synonyms. 2 According to the Accounting Standards Board "statement of financial performance" combines the statement of total recognized gains and loses and the P/L account and the statement is divided into three sections: (i) operating; (ii) financing and treasury; and (iii) other gains and losses. See ASB (2000) FRED 22, Revision of FRS 3, "Reporting Financial Performance" p.3, London. Available at the following website; (28.12.2007) 3 For a broad and excellent discussion on financial performance measurement methods see Peterson and Peterson (1996). Corporate Performance and Measures of Value Added, The Research Foundation of The Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts: Charlottesville
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measures derived from stock market values (i.e. Stern Stewart & Co.'s Economic Value Added [EVA] and Market Value Added [MVA] approaches) which are based on valuation principles4. To test the financial performance impacts of CE, the performance measurement scale of this study has been adopted from the frequently used traditional financial criteria and these criteria are presented in the data and methodology section. Successful entrepreneurial accomplishments will inevitably affect the firms' financial performance in the long term, barely in the short term; there might be no association among the CE climate factors and firms' financial performance criteria due to project investments and firms' internal resource usages or possible losses (Hayton 2005). Thus, the first signals of successful entrepreneurial accomplishments may be obtained from marketplace, for example, increase in sales and market share. Then, in the long run, these improvements in the competitive position in the marketplace may create higher financial returns as the outcomes of CE. Therefore, more than one criterion - i.e. sales growth, market share growth, return on assets and profitability- has been taken into account to reveal the association between CE and financial performance.
2.2. Corporate Entrepreneurship Corporate Entrepreneurship has become an important area of management research for the last three decades as a strategic orientation to overcome external adaptation problems firms face in their search for sustained competitive advantage in the global competition (Khandwalla 1977; Miller and Friesen 1978; 1982; Drucker, 1985; Schuler 1986; Covin and Slevin 1989; Covin and Covin 1990; Zahra and Covin 1995; Hitt et al. 2001; Antoncic and Hisrich 2001; Pittaway 2001; Kuratko, Ireland and Hornsby 2001; Dess, Ireland, Zahra, Floyd, Janney and Lane 2003). The literature on CE has been grown mostly by theoretical studies. In those studies the autors tried to clarify the content of CE by defining it, as the set of organizational policies, processes, and characteristics whereby organizations try to actualize efforts for pioneering innovative ideas in its products, processes, structures and markets (Pinchot 1985; Stevenson and Jarillo 1990; Stopford and Baden-Fuller 1994; Zahra and Covin 1995; Lumpkin and Dess 1996; Wiklund 1999; Hitt, Ireland, Camp and Sexton 2001). On the other hand, the recent studies on CE are mostly field study try to explore the structure of CE. Most of these studies have revealed that CE has a multidimensional structure. The most frequently found out and tested with hypotheses dimensions of CE are risk taking, innovativeness, proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness (Lumpkin and Dess 1996, 2001; Sharma and Chrisman 1999; Dess, Ireland, Zahra, Floyd, Janney and Lane 2003), yet their associations with corporate performance have not been sufficiently demonstrated (Zahra 1991; Antoncic and Hisrich 2004; Dess and Lumpkin 2005). Therefore, the dimension of CE will be debated along the corporate financial performance within the following section.
3. Hypothesis Development 3.1. Innovativeness and Financial Performance Drucker (1985) argues that innovation is at the heart of entrepreneurship. An organization-wide entrepreneurial spirit to cope with and benefit from rapidly changing marketplace conditions would be possible only if suitable innovative undertakings are established. When these organizational initiatives are supported and coordinated within the organization, the outcomes will be gained as sustainable competitive advantage through innovation in the form of new products, services, and processes, or in a combination of these (Schumpeter 1934; Quinn 1985; Brentani 2001; Hornsby, Kuratko and Zahra 2002). Therefore, our first hypothesis is as follows: 4 In the management accounting area, the recognition of the limitations of financial performance indicators has resulted in the search for complementary indicators, such as the "balanced scorecard" which complements the financial measures with operational measures on customer satisfaction, internal business process and the firm's innovation, learning and improvements activities-operational measures which are the drivers of future financial performance (see e.g. Kaplan and Norton 1992, 1993, 1996, 2000 and also Broadbent and Cullen 2005. pp 310-13).
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H1: The innovativeness dimension of CE has positive effects on financial performance.
3.2. Risk Taking and Financial Performance Entrepreneurial and non-entrepreneurial behaviours are clearly distinguished with the risk taking features of the individuals and organizations. In this sense corporate risk taking is conceptualized as the organizational orientations to go for new initiatives for the purpose of corporate profit and growth by tolerating the possible calculated loses (Sitkin and Pablo 1992; Keh, Foo and Lim 2002). Conservative and risk-averse attitudes of firms will cause a decrease in market share and even a loss of competitive position (Porter 1980; Barringer and Bluedorn 1999; Kanter 2006). On the other hand, globalization of the competition has been forcing firms to take new positions to stay competitive (Porter 1980). Successful firms either identify new markets or introduce new services/products to the existing markets or the combinations of two by taking risks to fulfil the market opportunities. Therefore, to be outperformed and stayed competitive is directly related to a firm's intensity to take calculated risks, and our second hypothesis is as follows: H2: The risk taking dimension of CE has positive effects on financial performance.
3.3. Proactiveness and Financial Performance The main two challenges of new borderless competitive milieu are the shortened product life cycles and sensitive demand for the new products. To deal and survive within this new economic environment, firms try to make the first-move to gain competitive advantage (Khandwalla 1977; Miller 1983; Barringer and Bluedorn 1999). Particularly, in emerging and transition economies, being the leader is more beneficial than wait and see strategies. Following the competitors cause to fight for some pie in less market share against the first-mover (Narver, Slater and MacLachlan 2004; Olson, Slater and Hult 2005). Instead of dealing in saturated markets, being fast and the first by finding out the new demands or introducing new product/services frequently helps firms to take new position on the way of sustainable competitive advantage (Porter 1980). Therefore, our third hypothesis is as follows: H3: The proactiveness dimension of CE has positive effects on financial performance.
3.4. Competitive Aggressiveness and Financial Performance Firms which could not take a new position against the increased intensity of the competition and/or became late to enter into the growing markets, compute the opportunity costs and try to make alternative strategies to survive or to remain in competition (Birkinshaw, Hood and Young 2005). Firms which decide to gain share from those markets, adopt competitive aggressive behaviors by employing marketing strategies such as competing on price, increasing promotion and/or combating for the distribution channels or imitating the competitors' actions and/or products (Dess, Lumpkin, and Eisner 2007). By acting aggressive via marketing tools, they force relatively stronger competitors to make entry barriers for the current markets. From the two points of view ­either new entrants or existing firms- the purposes of these bold and aggressive behaviors are initially to remain in competition and then to make profit by fulfilling the opportunities of markets. Therefore our fourth and last hypothesis is as follows: H4: The competitive aggressiveness dimension of CE has positive effects on financial performance.
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Figure 1: Hypothesized research model
ENTREPRENEURIAL ORIENTATION - Innovativeness - Risk taking - Proactiveness -Competitive Aggressiveness
H1, H2, H3, H4
4. Data and Methodology 4.1. Data Collecting Procedure and Sample The research of this study has been conducted by mail-survey from 2032 respondents over 312 firms which are operating in Turkey. Initially 11.101 firms have been selected from the web site of The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey ( To call for the research, invitation letters have been sent to these firms. 1251 of the invitation letter have not been reached to destination because of the addresses were either wrong or the company has moved from the address. Managers of 987 firms have been responded with notification of acceptance for their participation to our research. Therefore, the response rate for invitation is approximately 10%. According to number of employees firms have been categorized as micro, small, medium, large and very large. 10.000 surveys have been rationed to this classification (i.e. 3 surveys for micro, 35 surveys for the very large enterprises) and surveys have been sent with a free to post envelope to the previously responded managers to be distributed to the members of these 987 firms. After a couple of months 2032 employees over 312 firms have sent back their surveys. Consequently the sample of the study is 2032 employees over 312 firms. Demographics of the respondents have shown that 70.5% of them are male. 6,1% owners or partners, 12,4% top managers, 33,8% middle managers, 33,6% are white collar workers, and 14,2% are blue collar workers. 25% of them have tenure less than 2 years, 25% of them have tenure from 2 to 5 years, 25% of them have tenure from 5 to 10 years, and the rest of them have more than 10 years tenure. Average age of the respondents is 34.9 (S.D.: 9.8). 4.2. Measures All constructs were measured using existing scales. All items were measured on a five point Likerttype scale where 1= strongly disagree and 5= strongly agree. Mean scale scores were calculated for all measures. We used the Cronbach's Alpha to estimate reliability for scales. CE dimensions were measured with 18 items, 3 of them adapted from Barringer and Bluedorn (1999), 3 of them Hornsby, Kuratko and Zahra (2002), 3 of them Miller (1983), 3 of them from Calantone, Cavusgil and Zhao (2002), 3 of them adapted from Antoncic and Hisrich (2001) and the rest of the three are adapted from Dess, Lumpkin and Covin (1997), and Naman and Slevin (1993). The scale of financial performance has been created from the existing literature and chosen among the most frequently used financial criteria, which are return on sales, return on assets, and market share growth. 5. Analysis and Findings 5.1. Reliability tests, Factor Analysis and Correlations The scales were submitted to confirmatory factor analysis via EQS-6.1 and satisfactory results were obtained (X2 (211) =613.80; GFI=.97; CFI=.99; NFI=.98). Factor loadings are depicted in Table 1.
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Table 1: Factor Loadings for Corporate Entrepreneurship Dimensions and Financial Performance Items
Items Riskiness Relative to our competitors, our company has higher propensity to take risks Our company has shown a great deal of tolerance for high risk projects In general, the top managers of my firm favour, a bold, aggressive posture in order to maximize the probability of exploiting potential when faced with uncertainty Most people in this organization are willing to take risks This organization supports many small and experimental projects realizing that some will undoubtedly fail The term "risk taker" is considered a positive attribute for people People are often encouraged to take calculated risks with new ideas around here Proactiveness Typically initiates actions to which competitors then respond In dealing with its competitors, my firm has a strong tendency to be ahead of other competitors in introducing novel idea or products Is very often the first firm to introduce new products/ services operating technologies, etc Our firm shapes the environment by introducing new products, technologies, administrative techniques than merely react Competitive Aggressiveness Owing to the nature of the environment, bold, wide ranging acts are necessary to achieve the firm's objectives Typically adopts a very competitive, `undo-the-competitor' posture My firm has a strong tendency to increase the market share by reducing the competitors' Innovativeness Our company frequently tries out new ideas Our company is creative in its methods of operation Our company seeks out new ways to do things Company's emphasis on developing new products Company's spending on new product development activities Investment in developing proprietary Technologies Financial Performance Market share growth Return on sales Return on assets Profitability
Factor Loadings .634** .708** .522** .554** .739** .678** .792** .778** .816** .859** .883** .860** .576** .513** .845** .806** .757** .847** .828** .812** .982** .815** .816** .789** ** p<.01
The results of CFA also give evidence for convergent validity of the constructs regarding to significantly (p<.01) loadings of all the items to respective latent factors. Moreover, principle component analyses (PCA) have been employed to test the discriminant validity. PCA have shown that all constructs have been extracted to five respected factors of CFA with the cut point of Eigen value 1. To test the unidimensionality of the scales, each construct have been submitted to PCA individually and resulted with one factor. These results gave evidence for the validity of the scales. Cronbach's alpha test is conducted for each of the construct for the reliability analyses. The results of the reliability test have been presented in Table 2; all the alpha coefficients are bigger than the expected reference value of .70. In addition to validity and reliability analyses, standard deviations and means of each construct have been calculated and found sufficient variance for further analyses. The results have demonstrated the factor structure is valid and reliable to test the hypotheses of the research. Before testing the hypotheses of the study, one-to-one relations among the dimensions of CE and financial performance have been investigated via Correlation analysis. The findings of correlations, reliability analyses and relevant descriptive statistics have been presented in Table 2. As can be seen in Table 2, all the correlation coefficients across the CE dimensions and the financial performance components are positive and significant.
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Table 2: Alpha Reliabilities, Descriptive Statistics and Correlation Analyses
Mean SD Innovativeness Risk Taking Proactiveness Competitive Aggressiveness
Innovativeness Risk Taking Proactiveness Competitive Aggressiveness Financial Performance
.90 3.86 .781
.87 3.04 .809 .446**
.91 3.64 .862 .685** .519**
.76 3.25 .944 .426** .417** .503**
.90 3.57 .856 .394** .286** .381** .283**
** p<.01
= Cronbach's Alpha; SD = Standard Deviation
5.2. Test of Hypotheses Correlation analyses have given some evidence of individual effects of CE dimensions on financial performance as simple regression analyses. However to test the multiple effects of CE dimension on financial performance a multiple regression analysis has been conducted. The result of the multiple regression analyses has been summarized in Table 3. The regression model found significant with the evidence of F statistics (F: 112.384; p<.01) and independent factors ­EO dimensions- obtained sufficient variance on financial performance (R2: .19). The findings of the analysis demonstrated that all the dimensions of CE have positive and significant effects on financial performance. According to these results four of the research hypotheses have been supported. In other words all the dimensions of CE have positive and significant effects on financial performance (see Figure.2).
Table 3: Effects of CE Dimensions on Financial Performance
Innovativeness Risk Taking Proactiveness Competitive Aggressiveness F=112.384
Standardized Beta ,224 ,075 ,147 ,081 R2 =0,188
p= 0,000
The results of this empirical study demonstrate the importance financial performance impacts of firms' CE in developing economies with the case of Turkey. Thus, the results of the comprehensive field research provide guidelines to help managers and entrepreneurs as well as academicians to better understand the importance of entrepreneurship within the firms and its effects on their financial performance. The proposed empirical model based on the regression analysis has been supported (Figure 2).
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Figure 2: The Research Model and Findings
Innovativeness : .224 **
Risk Taking
: .075**
Financial Performance
: .081** Competitive Aggressiveness
: .147**
** p<.01
6. Final Remarks Entrepreneurship process represents a growth-oriented outlook where great leaders are born from. It entails an innovative and proactive approach to challenges, tasks, needs, obstacles, and opportunities by commencing with nothing but a daring idea and great confidence, entrepreneurs assemble and organize the resources and the sweat in order to attain organizational goals. Obviously, it is an act of winning the game of competition. From the firms' standpoint, on the other hand, the purpose of each firm is to create value not only for its shareholders but also for its stakeholders in the today's modern management era (Drucker, 1985). Consequently, organizations can be characterized in terms of their overall strategic orientation. A key aspect of this orientation concerns entrepreneurship. Organizations distinguish significantly in terms of the level of CE that they display. In Turkey as an emerging economy, many firms are entrepreneurial. Achieving CE to provide much more vitality in the economy is not something that management can simply decide to do. It necessitates considerable time and investment, and there must be continual reinforcement. Because of CE represents an attitudinal and behavioural orientation that should pervade all aspects of an organization. Accordingly, to be sustainable, the entrepreneurial spirit should be integrated into the mission, objectives, strategies, structure, processes, and values of the firm for an impressive performance. Our research has revealed valuable findings for academicians, researchers and management executives among professional bodies from private to public particularly in developing economies. Ceteris paribus, each dimension of EO -innovativeness, risk taking, proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness- have positively correlated with financial performance. In other words, all dimensions of CE separately have positive effects and significantly associated with financial performance. To test the hypotheses, a multiple regression analysis has been conducted and the results demonstrated that CE has positive effects on the firms' financial performance. In addition, we wish to accentuate that the effectiveness of this linkage depends on how well integrated entrepreneurship is into the mission, objectives, strategies, structures, operations, and certainly culture of the firm (Morris 1998). The key responsibility of management is determining the appropriate degree and amount of CE for the organization overall, and for each main functional area within the organization's operations. Besides, CE can be investigated within the organizational learning concept for further studies ­ i.e. entrepreneurial learning- which is very important to find out the possible interactions of the
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dimensions. Additionally, the effects of CE among other firm performance criteria (i.e. innovative performance, marketing performance, operational performance, etc.) will reveal important findings for advance researches in the short run.
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