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FINDINGS

The first phase of this research explored whether proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness were distinct dimensions of an entrepreneurial orientation.  Table 1 shows the rotated principal factors solution.  Twelve of the fourteen EO items had significant factor loadings ($".50) on one of the four factors.  Such loadings are considered consistent with a conservative criterion (Kim & Mueller, 1978).  The factors of interest to this study—proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness—loaded on separate factors as suggested by Hypothesis 1.  Cronbach’s alpha was used to test the reliability of the scale items. For the three proactiveness items, the Cronbach’s alpha was .80; for the two competitive aggressiveness items, it was .65.  The sample size was rather small for this type of analysis (n=52) which may have potentially produced unstable factor loadings (Kim & Mueller, 1978).  Therefore, a supplementary factor analysis was also conducted on the full sample of individual respondents (n=123) and produced substantially the same results.

Factor scores for the proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness were compared to the four performance measures using Pearson’s correlation coefficients.  Table 2 reports the correlational and descriptive statistics.  These indicate that proactiveness consistently had a strong positive relationship to performance and that three of the four measures were statistically significant.  By contrast, the competitive aggressiveness—performance results were equivocal. Competitive aggressiveness was negatively related to sales growth and was only very weakly associated with profitability, financial strength, and overall performance.  Thus, Hypothesis 2 is supported as well.  The results also indicated that proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness were correlated at the .26 level.  Although this represents a significant degree of correlation (p < .10), it indicates that these two dimensions of EO exhibit a large degree of independent variance as well.
 

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