Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research
1997 Edition


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Peter T. Ward

Ohio State University
Columbus, OH 43210

Telephone: 614-292-5294
Fax: 614-292-1272

Principal Topics

Data from a sample of over 100 entrepreneurial manufacturing companies are used to explore how important this idea of manufacturing proactiveness is in entrepreneurial companies.  We first identify firms with proactive operations functions by responses to whether production/operations managers are part of the top management team.  Once firms in the sample with proactive operations have been identified, we test the significance of performance differences between firms identified as proactive and those not so identified.

The effects of both generic competitive strategy and new product strategy on the relationship between proactiveness and are explored.  For example, with respect to generic competitive strategy, we explore whether high quality and time-based producers benefit more from manufacturing proactiveness than those that compete on the basis of cost.


Data from the Kauffman Foundation, Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership's 1996 Entrepreneurial Practices Survey  are used.

Major Findings

Proactiveness appears to pay off in terms of business performance.


In essence, the question is whether entrepreneurial firms perform better when they possess a proactive manufacturing function.  If so, the finding has one important implication for growth strategies in these firms: it pays to build organizational capabilities in manufacturing.

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Last Updated 03/23/98