Differences in Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO) of SMEs in the International Context: Evidence from the Czech Republic and Turkey
Although SMEs make significant contributions to socio-economic conditions of countries, they face many financial, organizational and mercantile obstacles in their operations. In this regard, having more innovative, risk-taking and proactive activities (EO) increases SMEs’ performance, financial conditions and help them to survive in the long term. Therefore, finding regional, national and international differences in EO of SMEs can enable policymakers, financing institutions, SMEs, and entrepreneurs to create more opportunities for SMEs to overcome those problems. In this regard, this research seeks to explore the differences between entrepreneurial orientation (EO) of SMEs that operate in different regions of countries with various cultural values, income levels, economic, political and legal risks. Moreover, age and size of firms are also considered to find differences among SMEs in national and international contexts. In line with these objectives, the current study examines two different countries that have cultural differences and have different economic, legal and political risks. To achieve the objectives, 1620 Czech and Turkish SMEs were analyzed by performing the Mann-Whitney U and Moran’s I spatial autocorrelation tests. According to the results of Moran’s I autocorrelation test, this research does not find any differences between the low and high-income regions of the selected countries regarding EO of SMEs. Experience and age of the respondents might be the reason for these results. Significant results in the national context are that EO of SMEs does not differ across the age categories, while there are differences between firm size and their EO. In the international context, the main findings are that Czech SMEs are more proactive than Turkish ones in all age and size categories, while Turkish SMEs are more innovative in all age categories and only in small size segment. However, this research has not revealed any differences within the risk-taking behaviour of SMEs from different countries considering their size and age. The significant differences and similarities in EO of SMEs from different countries might stem from the educational status of the respondents, a considerable number of operating firms in a market, agility, flexibility, R&D activities and sector of firms. Financial, educational, administrative and legislative support needs to be given by policymakers to close the gap between EO of SMEs of different age, size, regions and countries.