The performance of small and medium companies (SMEs) is often regarded as a crucial driving factor behind both developed and developing country economic growth. In developing countries, micro, small, and medium-sized firms (SMEs) have traditionally been seen as a driving force for long-term economic growth and employment creation (Zaazou & Salman Abdou, 2021). Around 2.5 million SMEs operate in Egypt, accounting for 75 percent of the total workforce and 99 percent of non-agricultural private sector companies (Abdelkareem, 2020; Anter & Elnagy, 2019). Despite their importance, they are still facing several problems related to poor performance, low entrepreneurial spirit, and, weak execution of firm strategy (AlQershi, 2021; Chakraborty et al., 2019; Isichei et al., 2020). SMEs performance at the domestic level is very poor in Egypt; Only 2% of total SMEs are achieving EGP 20 million and EGP 50 million sales (Accelerate consulting and development, 2014). Moreover, SMEs have gotten insufficient attention in Egypt, particularly when it comes to addressing their poor performance in comparison to other developing countries (Abdelkareem, 2020; Abu Hatab et al., 2021). As a result, the poor performance of Egypt's SMEs is a major issue that should concern practitioners and policymakers alike, as well as academic scholars who can undertake research that can help the case.
Small and medium sized businesses usually suffer from a prolonged problem of survival (Abdelkareem, 2020; Z. Li & Johansen, 2021). The lack of adequate resources hinders the ability of SMEs to secure higher level of flexibility which erode their ability to survive and grow (Okpara, 2011). Understanding the factors that could play a role in SMEs survival is a major issue that should be explored and investigated. One of the most prominent solution of this problem might be the adoption of Entrepreneurship orientation strategy. Entrepreneurial orientation is a strategic tool that could help SMEs to improve their performance (Abatecola & Uli, 2016; Al-Awlaqi et al., 2021). in Egypt, SMEs have gotten insufficient attention, particularly when it comes to addressing their Entrepreneurial orientation in comparison to other developing countries (central bank of Egypt, 2010). According to Accelerate Consulting Development (ACD) report (2014), SMEs in Egypt are hampered by a slew of issues related to the effort to keep their company afloat. Owners rarely have time to consider how new ideas or technology could improve their company' efficiency.
Due to the lack of resource abundance, EO is considered as the only strategic option available for SMEs to follow (Al-Awlaqi et al., 2021). Previous literature has investigated thoroughly the impact of EO on the performance and survival of firms. However, the empirical evidences related to EO-performance relationship was inconsistence (Alarape, 2013; Cannavale et al., 2020; Galbreath et al., 2020; Hughes & Morgan, 2007; Kollmann & Stöckmann, 2014; Y. H. Li et al., 2009; Monteiro et al., 2019; Semrau et al., 2016; Silahtaroğlu & Alayoglu, 2016; Wiklund & Shepherd, 2005; Shaker A Zahra & Garvis, 2000). The inconsistency of the magnitude and direction of the effect of EO on businesses performance shows clearly that previous literature could be missing the impact of some interfering variables. Although, the impact of these interfering variable could alternate the EO-performance relationship, previous literature has lacked the interest to investigate such important issue (Li et al., 2009; Sousa et al., 2008; Wiklund & Shepherd, 2005). There was a little effort has been done to examine the mediating impact of potential confounding variables on the EO-performance relationship. Therefore, this study comes to fill this and investigate the effect of an important interfering variable on the EO-performance relationship.
To secure more survival rate and higher performance, SMEs should be able to manoeuvre in order to deal with its surrounding environment. Dynamic capabilities reflect the way that the organization fellows to integrate its resources and competences to deal with the fast-changing environment. Thus, organizations need the DC to get the best of EO and utilise the new opportunities that in turn enhances performance. The literature emphasized that not all strategy types have the same influence in performance (Walker, 2013). In summary, Dynamic capabilities were selected as one of the most important potential mediating variables that could considerably affect the EO-performance relationship.
For SMEs in developing countries, EO is still a vital and worthwhile endeavour (Wales et al., 2021). However, the lack of understanding of the nature of EO and its results in terms of business performance in emerging economies must be taken into account further (Shan et al., 2016). While multiple studies have found favourable associations between EO and business success in the developed countries, the penchant for taking risks as a byproduct of EO has resulted in a number of exceptions to these findings, thereby contradicting the anticipated association between EO and performance (Galbreath et al., 2020; Escamilla-Fajardo et al., 2021). As a result, in order to have a better understanding of the problem, the purposes of this research are to study the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm business performance in the Egyptian context, to investigate the mediating role of Dynamic Capabilities (DC) in EO-performance relationship, and to examine the moderating effect of firm strategy type in such relationship. This research enriches the literature by investigating the mediating role of DC in EO-performance relationship, particularly business process performance (BPP).
For the purpose of this research, the paper has divided into four parts. First, the introduction was followed by theoretical foundation and hypotheses development. Then, research methodology, methods, and data analyses were presented. Third, research findings have been discussed. Finally, the paper concluded with implication, limitations, and suggestions for further research.