Environmental Scanning Behavior in Physical Therapy Private Practice Firms: its Relationship to the Level of Entrepreneurship and Legal Regulatory Environment

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This study examined the effects of entrepreneurship level and legal regulatory environment on environmental scanning in one component of the health services industry, private practice physical therapy. Two aspects of scanning served as dependent variables: (1) extent to which firms scrutinized six environmental sectors (competitor, customer, technological, regulatory, economic, social-political) and (2) frequency of information source use (human vs. written). Availability of information was a covariate for frequency of source use. Three levels of entrepreneurship were determined by scores on the Covin and Slevin (1986) entrepreneurship scale. Firms were placed in one of three legal regulatory categories according to the ... continued below

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viii, 124 leaves

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Schafer, D. Sue August 1988.

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  • Schafer, D. Sue

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This study examined the effects of entrepreneurship level and legal regulatory environment on environmental scanning in one component of the health services industry, private practice physical therapy. Two aspects of scanning served as dependent variables: (1) extent to which firms scrutinized six environmental sectors (competitor, customer, technological, regulatory, economic, social-political) and (2) frequency of information source use (human vs. written). Availability of information was a covariate for frequency of source use. Three levels of entrepreneurship were determined by scores on the Covin and Slevin (1986) entrepreneurship scale. Firms were placed in one of three legal regulatory categories according to the state in which the firm delivered services. A structured questionnaire was sent to 450 randomly selected members of the American Physical Therapy Association's Private Practice Section. Respondents were major decision makers, e.g., owners, chief executive officers. The sample was stratified according to three types of regulatory environment. A response rate of 75% was achieved (n = 318) with equal representation from each stratum. All questionnaire subscales exhibited high internal reliability and validity. The study used a 3x3 factorial design to analyze the data. Two multivariate analyses were conducted, one for each dependent variable set. Results indicated that "high" entrepreneurial level firms scanned the technological, competitor and customer environmental sectors to a significantly greater degree than "middle" or "low" level groups, regardless of type of legal regulatory environment. Also, "high" level firms were found to use human sources to a significantly greater degree than did lower level groups. Empirical evidence supporting Miles and Snow's (1978) proposition that "high" level entrepreneurial firms (prospectors) monitor a wider range of environmental conditions when compared to "low" level (defender) firms was presented. The results also confirmed that market and technological environments were scanned most often. Finally, the results added to the construct validity of the Covin and Slevin entrepreneurship scale and provided evidence of its generalizability to small businesses.

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viii, 124 leaves

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  • August 1988

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  • Aug. 22, 2014, 6 p.m.

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Schafer, D. Sue. Environmental Scanning Behavior in Physical Therapy Private Practice Firms: its Relationship to the Level of Entrepreneurship and Legal Regulatory Environment, dissertation, August 1988; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc331736/: accessed October 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .