Explorations of Strategic Orientation (SO) Dimensions on Small Firm Growth and the Challenge of Resources

Sriparna Basu, Rakesh Gupta


The strategy-firm growth relationship has been a problematical one for researchers in spite of the significant conceptual, empirical, and theoretical contributions made in this area. While strategy as a broad term signals the maximization of available inputs for a firm, it is the distinctive choices that are available within strategy formulation, termed as Strategic Orientation (SO) by Venkatraman, that has elicited little consensus. The six dimensions of SO construct, as conceptualized by Venkatraman (1989), are analysis, pro-activeness, riskiness, aggressiveness, futurity, and defensiveness. This paper argues that it is the specific SO dimensions or their combinations that contribute to small firm growth depending upon their context rather than the either or approach advanced by Miles & Snow (1978) & Porter (1980) in their strategy type framework. Increasingly, researchers have stressed the need to integrate SO and Resource Based View (RBV) as the choice of resources is an important pre-requisite for small firm growth. At the same time, small firms are resource constrained and SO is a resource consuming orientation which leaves us with the questions: how do resources impact choice of strategy dimensions in small firms? What would enable small firms to create an effective combination of choice of strategy and resources?

Key-Words: Strategic Orientation; Small Firm Growth; Resources; Strategy Choice

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1905 ISSN (Online)2222-2839

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