Entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance: Drawing attention to the senior team

Sebastiaan Van Doorn, Justin J.P. Jansen, Frans A.J. Van Den Bosch, Henk W. Volberda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


Prior studies have argued entrepreneurial orientation (EO) plays an important role in explaining firm performance. This study aims to assess how senior team attributes moderate the relationship between EO and firm performance. For this purpose, an attention-based perspective is adopted, focusing on attention scope as well as distributed and situated attention. By considering the role of senior team heterogeneity in broadening the attention scope of senior teams and the role of senior team shared vision in aligning distributed attention across organizational functions, this research investigates how senior teams may enhance the value-creating potential of EO. In addition, we assess situated attention by including the notion of environmental dynamism and examining whether the role of the senior team attributes is contingent upon environmental conditions. Using a time-lagged sample of 346 firms operating in various industries, we find that senior team heterogeneity helps firms to leverage their EO and improve their performance. Moreover, once environmental conditions are taken into account, results indicate that the absence of heterogeneity at senior team level may be particularly detrimental for firms operating in stable environments. The direct moderating effect of shared vision on the relationship between EO and performance is not substantiated. However, senior team shared vision has a positive impact for firms operating in dynamic environments, providing a premium for firms aiming to realize the inherent value of EO. Our research provides important implications for senior teams aiming to leverage their EO into increased firm performance. Evidence shows that while a heterogeneous team composition and senior team shared vision may provide several benefits, these advantages may fluctuate across environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-836
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Product Innovation Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


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