This paper uncovers the complexity between Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO) and performance. The paper explores the effect of the threat of imitation, which is a key external factor to explain competitive dynamics, and hence highlights effectiveness of EO. Also the paper accounts for the role of upstream (technical) and downstream (marketing) capabilities as they influence effectiveness of EO. Our results show that, under threat of imitation, downstream marketing capabilities facilitate taping into opportunities derived from EO, which positively affects performance. Conversely, available upstream technical capabilities do not aim at EO when imitation threats exist in the environment. Of importance is that we question the complexity between EO and performance can be better understood using a configurational approach.