We use attribution theory to show that firms that make more internal attributions to positive performance outcomes engage slack resources more freely for corporate entrepreneurship (CE) than firms that make fewer of such attributions. In addition, we show that the way in which companies make external attributions to performance outcomes moderates this relationship. To examine this empirically, we explore how top management teams discuss the factors that contribute to firm performance. Specifically, we look at attributions provided in the Management's Discussion and Analysis section of the annual reports of 144 pharmaceutical firms over a 2-year period. In line with our predictions, we find that greater internal attribution to positive performance outcomes leads to increased use of slack resources for CE. Furthermore, we find that this effect is stronger when firms make more external attributions to negative performance outcomes than positive performance outcomes.
- corporate strategy
- multiple regression
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management