Institutional Forces and Knowledge Search Strategies as Predictors of Entrepreneurial Venture Performance

Jie Wu, Patrick J. Murphy* (Corresponding Author), Jean Jinghan Chen, Michele D. Bunn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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We examine how institutional factors influence the strategies entrepreneurial ventures use as they seek the knowledge that they need to perform and compete. With a focus on economic and ecosystem development, we propose a framework of interrelations between two principal knowledge search strategies, their interactions with varying levels of institutional development, and the joint effects on venture performance. We utilize a sample of 1,470 entrepreneurial ventures to examine two hypotheses. Results, based on hierarchical regression, distributed lag analyses, and several assumption and robustness checks, show that knowledge search strategy interrelations are complementary when institutional development is high but substitutive when institutional development is low. We execute a post-hoc analysis using separate data sources to replicate these results and strengthen our findings. Finally, we discuss implications for entrepreneurial practitioners, policymakers, and scholars.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2160-2188
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Small Business Management
Issue number4
Early online date16 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

We are grateful to JSBM editor Eric Liguori and three anonymous reviewers for insightful comments on previous versions of this paper. We also acknowledge the guidance and input from Haiyang Li, the International Finance Corporation’s Enterprise Surveys program, and the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics. This research was supported by grants SRG2019-00146-FBA and CPG2020-00018-FBA awarded to Jean Jinghan Chen by the University of Macau.


  • Knowledge
  • Search strategy
  • Institutionalism


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