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Strategic Orientations of Small and Medium Enterprises: An Assessment of Performance Level and Variability

Student: Iuliia Averianova

Supervisor: Galina Shirokova

Faculty: St.Petersburg School of Economics and Management

Educational Programme: Management and Analytics for Business (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2021

As valuable, yet costly firm-level resources – entrepreneurial, market, and learning orientations – jointly shape a firm’s strategic posture and define the scope of its success. While prior studies have revealed positive performance effects from individual and combined orientations, the following questions remain: How are combinations of different levels of strategic orientations associated with financial performance? Is there a difference between the level of performance and its variability? To assess performance implications from strategic orientations’ complementarity, we rely on survey data from Russian small and medium-sized firms. Our results reveal that firms with high levels of two orientations on average have higher performance, but simultaneously it leads to higher variability in performance, meaning an increase in both the upside as well as the downside potential. On the other hand, maintaining three orientations on a high level have a negative impact on firm performance. This finding advances our knowledge about balancing various organizational strategies in a firm’s pursuit of financial success.

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