Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Business and Economics

Department/School/Program

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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