Does the Firm Size Matter on Firm Entrepreneurship and Performance? U.S. Apparel Import Intermediary Case
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the relationship between firm entrepreneurship and performance is dependent upon firm size within a small- and medium-size enterprise (SME) population, using non-manufacturing, industry-specific empirical data. Design/methodology/approach: Survey methodology was employed, using a national sample of U.S. apparel import intermediary (AII) SMEs. Regression analysis was performed to determine the type of the moderator variable, firm size, and to test statistical significance of the firm size effect on the relationship between firm entrepreneurship and performance measures. Findings: The study's results suggested that the firm size effect was present on the relationship between firm entrepreneurship and SMEs' longevity performance; however, there was no statistical significance of the firm size effect on the relationship between firm entrepreneurship and SMEs' creative contribution or profitability performance. Research limitations/implications: Although the study results were based on randomly selected nation-wide surveys, the findings should be viewed as industry- and time-specific; generalization to a larger population, or to other firms, must be undertaken with caution. Practical implications: These findings help to recognize and understand the heterogeneity of the relationship between firm entrepreneurship and performance even within a population of SMEs. Therefore, the results suggest that AII SME managers should put different emphasis on firm entrepreneurship, depending upon specific goals and the firm size. Originality/value: The study shows that different approaches to SME entrepreneurship research are needed to recognize diversity within an SME population. The study also supports that performance measures are not necessarily correlated, thus justification of selection is critical.
Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 16 No. 1, 2009, pp. 131-145.