Dimensional effects of Korean SME’s entrepreneurial orientation on internationalization and performance: the mediating role of marketing capability

  • Byoungho Jin
  • Sojin Jung
  • So Won Jeong


This study examines how three different dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation (proactiveness, innovativeness, and risk-taking) each determine internationalization strategies and enhance international performance among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the mediating role of marketing capabilities. An integrative theoretical framework built on international entrepreneurship and a resource-based approach was tested in the context of Korean SMEs. Analyses of 401 survey data collected from Korean exporting SMEs revealed the differential effects of each entrepreneurial orientation and the mediating effect of marketing capability on internationalization strategies and performance. Proactiveness and risk taking appeared to function as significant antecedents of marketing capability. Marketing capability, in turn, significantly decreased internationalization scope and increased the financial performance of Korean SMEs, though it did not influence internationalization scale. This study further confirms that the mediating role of marketing capability in entrepreneurial orientation-performance relationships vary by entrepreneurial orientation dimensions. Taking the direct and indirect roles of the entrepreneurial orientation dimensions together, this study recommends the critical prioritization of risk-taking over proactiveness. It extends previous approaches to the triad of resource–capability–performance. Theoretical contributions and insightful managerial implications are also provided.


Entrepreneurial orientation Marketing capability Internationalization Performance SMEs Korea 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea [NRF-2015S1A3A2046811]


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies, Bryan School of Business and EconomicsThe University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Textiles & ClothingThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloonHong Kong
  3. 3.Department of Clothing & Textiles, College of Natural SciencesSangmyung UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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