Vol. 9 No. 3 (2021): Business & Management Studies: An International Journal

CEO regulatory focus, operations strategy and SME performance: An analysis in the Dutch horticulture industry

Nüfer Yasin Ateş
Assist. Prof. Dr., Sabancı University
Melek Akın Ateş
Assist. Prof. Dr., Sabancı University

Published 2021-09-24


  • Operasyon Stratejisi,
  • Rekabetçi Öncelikler,
  • Düzenleme Odağı,
  • KOBİ Performansı
  • Operations Strategy,
  • Competitive Priorities,
  • Regulatory Focus,
  • SME Performance

How to Cite

Ateş, N. Y., & Akın Ateş, M. (2021). CEO regulatory focus, operations strategy and SME performance: An analysis in the Dutch horticulture industry. Business & Management Studies: An International Journal, 9(3), 890-907. https://doi.org/10.15295/bmij.v9i3.1843


SME performance is closely related to operations strategies. Prior studies showed that CEO characteristics affect firm strategy and performance more in SMEs than in large organizations. Regulatory focus theory asserts CEO prevention and promotion focus are central CEO characteristics as they explain basic motivational tendencies. This study aims to examine the relationship between operations strategy, regulatory focus and firm performance. By focusing on the Dutch horticulture industry as the study population, data is collected from 627 CEO’s using a survey. Using cluster analysis, an operations strategy taxonomy is developed based on competitive priorities and four operations strategies are identified: “Traditionalists”, “Perfectionists”, “Niche players”, and “No focus”. The results show that “Perfectionists” and “Niche players” operations strategies are on average adopted by CEOs with a dominant promotion focus, whereas “Traditionalists” operations strategy is on average adopted by CEOs with a dominant prevention focus. On the other hand, it is observed that CEOs implementing a “No focus” operations strategy do not show a dominant regulatory focus. Finally, the results illustrate that all operations strategies except the “No focus” strategy can be implemented with similar performance outcomes, supporting the equifinality view.


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