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Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)

our review should be properly footnoted with a complete bibliography in MLA format. Please write
your essay in single line space, 12-point font size using Times New Roman.

  1. Submit the original article, summary of the article, comments, evaluation and critically review on the

findings in terms of its application.

  1. Prepare and make sure the supporting evidence or necessary contextual information is also

properly cited.

  1. Write your argument and analysis in an appropriate way to the audience.

A Review of Keh’s et al. The effects of entrepreneurial orientation and marketing

information on the performance of SMEs


Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) experience several challenges in the
pursuit to gain new market entry. Different SMEs employ different strategies. Depending on
respective SME management, the experience of new market entry can have varied results and
possibly determine the success or failure of the new business. These then inform the myriad
of research studies to establish a link or association between entrepreneurial orientation and
SME firm’s performance. Keh et al. have, in their article, The effects of entrepreneurial
orientation and marketing information on the performance of SMEs published in the Journal
of Business Venturing, have sought to demonstrate the relationship between entrepreneurial
orientation and SME firm’s performance. This article was premised on a research study that
survey of mainly Retail and Service sectors (which are the top two sectors accounting for
20.1% and 19.7% respectively in the Singaporean economy) reasonably stable and
established SMEs based in Singapore (Keh et al. 592).
Issues Analysis

The authors, of the article under review, have sought to establish convergence of
effects that have a substantial impact on the performance of SMEs. According to their
findings, they indicate that entrepreneurial orientation plays a significant role in the
acquisition and application of marketing information. This, according to the authors, has a
direct impact on a firm’s overall performance. The authors establish that the application of the
acquired marketing information informs various decisions on promotion and place aspects of
the marketing mix which subsequently has a positive impact on a firm’s performance (Keh et
al. 597).
The marketing information also forms a bridge that links entrepreneurial orientation
and a firm’s performance. The authors hold that entrepreneurial orientation has three main
aspects of risk-taking, proactive and innovative actions. They established that firms that were
grounded in entrepreneurial orientation demonstrated ability and capacity to monitor and scan
their own respective business operating environments with a view of seeking new business
opportunities as well as strengthening their respective competitive positions. The authors
further indicate that a firm’s level of entrepreneurial orientation substantially determines the
acquisition and utilization of information (Keh et al. 592).
The authors elaborately sought to establish several correlative aspects of
entrepreneurial orientation and information acquisition and information utilization and how
these three aspects impact on a firm’s performance. SMEs need customer and market
information so that they can make decisions on product positioning, product demand,
competitive direction as well as the overall marketing approach. SMEs’ marketing decision-
making is informed by the 4Ps principle, which includes product, price, promotion, and place.
They are meant to effectively meet the customers’ needs and ensure a competitive positioning
in the market (Keh et al. 592).

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The authors expertly established that for SMEs to enhance their respective marketing
strategy decisions, they should accurately and comprehensively acquire and utilize market
information on products, competitors, and consumer behavior patterns. The authors
demonstrated that information acquisition on its own does not affect a firm’s performance if
the same information is not efficiently utilized or implemented by the respective firm’s
management (Keh et al. 593).
On the contrary, it is established that information utilization (regarding distribution
and location referring to promotion and place) does have a substantial impact on a firm’s
performance levels. The authors note that SMEs are relatively price-takers in the market with
a minimal capacity to significantly adjust varied products prices. Therefore information on
pricing per se may not be sufficiently significant to a firm’s performance (Keh et al. 592).
SMEs that are grounded in entrepreneurial orientation will seek and utilize
information on customer needs profile, risk management, level and intensity of competitive
activities. It is noteworthy that SMEs do not have a robust budgetary provision for Research
and Development (R&D). SMEs are, according to the authors, mainly focusing customer
information and understanding of competitive positioning. SMEs spend valuable time to
appreciate customer needs to consistently offer high-quality products and services with the
overall goal of the value proposition of creating superior customer value (Keh et al. 593).
Entrepreneurial orientation, having three dimensions of risk-taking, proactive actions,
and innovativeness, is referred to as those processes and practices as well as decision-making
actions that enable new businesses to gain new market entry. The authors hold that the
propensity for risk-taking has to do with the entrepreneurs’ willingness and desire to commit
significant capital resources to achieve market opportunities or engagement in business
investment activities whose outcomes are not apparent. SMEs can employ proactive
approaches by aggressively taking market leadership in the introduction of new products or
business strategies ahead of competitors (Keh et al. 593).
In this way, SMEs proactive and aggressive actions are directional moves in
anticipation of future market demand that create change and shape market environment. In
entrepreneurial orientation, SMEs can also engage in the experimental implementation of
new ideas, and the formation of creative processes. The authors establish a convergence that
SMEs with higher entrepreneurial orientation coupled with a robust variety if distinctive
marketing competencies can achieve comparatively more top performances (Keh et al. 593).
Information acquisition, according to the authors, is the collection and collation of
primary and secondary information from organizational stakeholders. It involves scanning of
the business environment, collection, and analysis of market intelligence activities as well as
information on competition and levels of competition. While information utilization is the
employment of gathered information into good use by a firm. The authors introduce a metric
for information utilization by indicating that the extent to which a firm can directly be
obtained market information to influence market-related actions (Keh et al. 597).
Marketing decisions are more important considerations by SMEs than finance,
employee compensation or other business decisions, according to various research findings.
These marketing decisions are premised on the four aspects of marketing mix, which are
product, price, promotion, and place (the 4 Ps framework). Most SMEs are preoccupied with
the need to grow and reach their respective markets. This is attributable to the level of brand
strength levels of these SMEs as most are relatively new in the industry while some are
single-owned businesses that do not have the requisite financial capacity to achieve that
particular objective (Keh et al. 596).
The authors hold that the managers and leaders of SMEs spend considerable amount
of time seeking information regarding the market. This exercise can be rather a time
consuming and strenuous. They further contend that information acquisition and utilization

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are significantly high capital engagements that keep off some SMEs from acquiring necessary
information that can add value to their respective businesses. SMEs have a simple approach
model in seeking new market entries where they specifically focus on assessment of customer
needs and competitor-based knowledge. SMEs do not have the significant financial capacity
and budgetary provisions to conduct extensive market surveys and feasibility studies. In
essence, SMEs that display some substantially high levels of entrepreneurial orientation tend
to assess their operating environment to discover new opportunities while seeking
competitive edges. Market information that entails customer or consumer desires and
patterns, brand loyalty, price sensitivity, product quality perceptions, customer purchasing
trends, and power, as well as competition’s activities, is powerful knowledge resource to
SMEs (Keh et al. 597).
SMEs also consume information about customer locations and pricing stratification
which additionally inform the creation if SME competitive strategies. The authors observed
through research studies that SMEs that are actively engaged in search for information and
employment of effective and efficient networking strategies recorded better and improved
overall financial performance due to a possible gain of competitive advantage over firms that
do not seek and collect market intelligence. Consequently, high level of market orientation
leads to SMEs’ better and improved financial performances (Keh et al. 593).
The authors fell short by not demonstrated by way of figures improved financial,
general trends and volumes increases resulting from high levels of entrepreneurial
orientation. It is therefore not apparently clear to what extent entrepreneurial orientation
impacts businesses’ financial performances (Keh et al. 599). Keh et al. only descriptively
succeeded in highlighting the relationship and association between entrepreneurial
orientation, information acquisition, and information utilization and have the three
dimensions have an overall impact on SME firm’s performance. They did not quantitatively
and authoritatively prove that financial performance of SMEs substantially changed as a
result of the above three factors (entrepreneurial orientation, information acquisition, and
information utilization).


The authors’ findings conclude that SMEs entrepreneurial orientation not only plays a
significantly substantial role in enhancing firm’s performances but also has several direct and
indirect effects on a firm’s overall performance. They further hold that information
acquisition has a positive correlation with a firm’s performance but it is not directly causal to
the increased firm’s performance but the information collected need to be utilized so that
value is achieved. Firms with a higher affinity for collecting information have proven to
increase their overall business performance. The authors further conclude that SMEs
information utilization leads to better marketing decisions if promotion and place elements
and subsequently leading to a firm’s overall improved performance (Keh et al. 605).

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Works Cited

Keh H. Tat, Nguyen, Thi T. Mai, Ng H. Ping. The Effects of Entrepreneurial Orientation
and Marketing Information on the Performance of SMEs. Journal of Business Venturing 22
(2007) 592–611. Singapore, 2006. Elsevier.

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