Fitting a firm’s strategic position and environmental context with its managers’ personality traits. A configurational study of SME performance

Marcus Dejardin


Marcus Dejardin (University of Namur - Université catholique de Louvain)

Invité par / Invited by : Jean Bonnet
Thème / Thema : Entrepreunariat
Co-auteur/Joint work with : Dendi Ramdani, Arjen van Witteloostuijn, Johanna Vanderstraeten and Julie Hermans

Résumé / abstract :
Building upon the person–environment contingency model in combination with its strategy–environment counterpart, we adopt an integrated manager–strategy–environment configurational lens, and explore this perspective empirically by applying fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis to data from a sample of Belgian SMEs. We theorize that enterprises implementing a cost leadership strategy in a stable environment require top managers with high consciousness to generate high firm performance. In contrast, a firm conducting a product differentiation strategy in a dynamic environment needs a top manager with high openness to experience. Our evidence partly supports the theory, showing that openness to experience is an important personality trait not only for firms implementing product differentiation strategies in dynamic environments, but also for those with cost leadership strategies in stable environments. Furthermore, our evidence reveals that conscientiousness is an important personality trait for top managers running enterprises operating in stable environments implementing whatever strategy.