Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Business and Economics

Department

Business Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Walter J. Ferrier

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephen P. Borgatti

Abstract

In this mixed-method study, I explore the idea that an entrepreneurial orientation serves as a key driver of nonprofit organizational performance, and that a focal nonprofit’s set of collaborative ties moderates that relationship. I theorize that for nonprofits operating in an environment characterized by resource scarcity, possessing an EO is vital. More specifically, I theorize that organizations with smaller and less heterogeneous sets of collaborative ties benefit more from an EO than those with larger and more heterogeneous sets. I also explore the possibility that a focal nonprofit’s pattern of collaborative ties may be a function of that nonprofit’s EO. These ideas are tested using an original data set collected from a sample of the estimated 200 economic development organizations operating in eastern Kentucky. This is an area where economic growth has been particularly elusive, and where a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial and collaborative practices of nonprofits might be especially valuable. The results reveal some significant empirical support for these ideas, and point to a promising research program aiming to uncover the interactive effects of EO, collaborative networks, and nonprofit performance across a range of organizational contexts.

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