What is it about?

Some firms are always rethinking their business by innovating, taking risks, challenging the market. Other firms instead just do business as usual. The firms who pursue the first kind of strategies typically have a better performance. We identify the psychological traits and motivations of the entrepreneurs who lead these firms.

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Why is it important?

We identify 12 coherent profiles of entrepreneurs who pursue challenging strategies. We distinguish, for the first time, among three categories of entrepreneurs: founders of family and non-family firms, and successors of family firms. We adopt an new methodology, namely Qualitative Comparative Analysis, which appreciates the effect of combinations of factors, rather than factors in isolation.


Family firms are often at risk of survival because second-generation entrepreneurs are not able to rethink a business model that worked well with the first generation. And this is a risk of the whole economy, since family firms are the most common way of doing business in any countries. By identifying the personal attributes that characterise successors who rethink strategies and business models, we offer family firms a precious tool to identify potential leadership risks.

Giancarlo Lauto
Universita degli Studi di Udine

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A configurational analysis of the antecedents of entrepreneurial orientation, European Management Journal, April 2017, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.emj.2016.07.003.
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