Title: Performance and entrepreneurial orientation in SMEs: the case of Abu Dhabi

Authors: Mohamed Sherif; Laura Galloway; Hajer Zarrouk

Addresses: School of Social Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, UK; Business School, Cairo University, Egypt ' Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK ' Higher Colleges of Technology, Emirates College of Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abstract: The paper explores entrepreneurial orientation (EO) in SMEs in the Middle Eastern state of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. We hypothesise that emerging market context and unique UAE business structures will impact the expression and effects of the five dimensions of EO. Using OLS and GMM techniques, our study shows that innovation, risk-taking, pro-activeness and competitive aggressiveness do not correlate positively with performance, but autonomy does. By studying EO in a unique region and amongst SMEs we contribute to the implementation and development of theory in alternative business contexts. We suggest the EO dimensions co-depend, with autonomy a capstone dimension in SMEs upon which the others rely. At a local level, we suggest policy might take steps to encourage autonomy by reducing ownership restrictions, and improve the institutional environment to facilitate risk-taking and, in turn, the other EO dimensions.

Keywords: performance evaluation; entrepreneurial orientation; SMEs; emerging economy; Abu Dhabi; business structures.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAAPE.2019.102247

International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, 2019 Vol.15 No.3, pp.241 - 261

Received: 12 Jan 2018
Accepted: 19 Oct 2018

Published online: 11 Sep 2019 *

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