Entrepreneurial orientation and SME success factors



entrepreneurial orientation, success factors, performance, forestry SMEs


Purpose. Drawing on the concept of entrepreneurial orientation (EO) and the aspect of top management style, this study attempts to find the factors that lead small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to success in business.

Methodology. In this study, a survey of 110 Latvian and Swedish forestry contracting companies’ top managers was conducted. Quantitative and qualitative research methods are applied to assess the companies’ performance and the factors driving the companies’ success. A questionnaire with a five-point Likert scale, principal component analysis, the Mann–Whitney U test and text coding were used to test the hypotheses and answer the research questions.

Findings. EO-inherent SMEs, compared to their conservative counterparts, have a significantly higher number of employees, turnover,
profit and return on asset rate. The differentiating success factors for EO-inherent SMEs are (a) employees’ contribution, treatment of employees and teamwork, (b) quality of manufacturing services and efficiency of company internal processes, (c) activity in improving collaboration processes with the buyer, (d) control of company operations, (e) the use of new technologies and machinery in manufacturing, and (f) high demands of manufacturing service buyers. Meanwhile, unfair competition, difficulties in raising funds and overall political instability in the country are considered as hindering factors for the success of EO-inherent SMEs.

Value. The findings of this study contribute to the literature on entrepreneurial orientation in the SME context, characterising the success factors and differentiating style of SMEs’ top managers in creating a growing and high-performing company.

Paper category: research paper