Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Marcia Dickerson


This research was created in order to offer a better understanding of the entrepreneurial orientation construct. Based on the literature review several antecedents of the entrepreneurial orientation construct were identified: risk, achievement, innovation, locus of control, self-esteem, opportunity, autonomy, proactiveness, and competitive aggressiveness. Relying on the contingency theory developed by Burns and Stalker (1961), it was decided to use the Carland's trichotomy of entrepreneurs as a moderator variable between the antecedents and the entrepreneurial orientation construct. As a result, three main areas of research were identified. The first area deals with determining which dimensions are underpinning the entrepreneurial orientation construct, while the second is centered on the number of dimensions composing that construct. The third axis of research was to determine if there is a relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and performance. All things considered, 13 sets of hypothesis were created and tested for the research.

The survey was sent through e-mail to entrepreneurs based in Louisiana, it was received by 1003 entrepreneurs. 103 surveys were returned for analysis resulting in a 10.2% response rate.

After analyzing the results, it became clear that several different types of entrepreneurs exist and that these types are heterogeneous. The three types of entrepreneurs tested did not have the same number of antecedents or even the same kind of antecedents. Finally, only one type of entrepreneurs showed a significant, albeit negative, relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and performance.