Drawing on financial economics theory, authors of the research paper highlight that all three components positively contribute to performance, but in different ways.

Risk taking has a direct positive relationship with performance, which can be understood through the risk–return tradeoff that is central in financial economics theory. The relationship between risk taking and performance is conditional on the level of innovativeness and thus innovativeness contributes to performance through its effect on the type of risk taking. Proactiveness contributes to performance through its positive effect on the level of risk taking.

Authors of the research paper show that constructive risk taking is the central driver of company performance, mirroring the principle of risk and return in financial investment settings. Risk taking that is associated with innovation has a particularly strong positive relationship with performance, consistent with innovation being a driver of growth and profitability. More proactive firms tend to take on more risk and thus also perform better than less proactive firms.

Download the full paper here (Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Forthcoming)