October 2018 Business SCAN
Entrepreneurship represents the capacity to create, develop, organise and ultimately manage a successful business. Whilst the term has become widely synonymous with the development of new and emergent business ideas, entrepreneurship is also a process which can be utilised to enhance processes within the structures of existing organisations.
In the world of modern business, organisations often find themselves embroiled in a corporate arms race, with the ultimate goal of gaining a competitive advantage and producing superior services and products. For an organisation’s vision to be realised, those operating at various levels within a business framework must be willing to demonstrate courage, take risks and most importantly, be innovative. Within existing research, engagement in entrepreneurial behaviours and strategies have come to be increasingly lauded as a tool for positive organisational growth, enhanced workplace performance and increased financial return. More specifically, through demonstrating corporate entrepreneurship – behaviours that help reshape and rejuvenate a business – organisations become more readily able to identify and develop creative and industrious strategic renewal strategies, which in turn can keep organisations at the forefront of innovation.
When considering your approach to corporate entrepreneurship, research suggests you are likely to fall into one of four categories:
- The Opportunist: The organisation has a specific or structured approach to innovation. New strategies may come to fruition through ideas generated by existing members of the organisation. These ideas are then put forward to senior members of the organisation and implemented.
- The Enabler: The organisation already actively encourages entrepreneurship and innovation amongst its employees. Resources (including time and money) may be provided in an effort to generate new ideas which will benefit the organisation. Google is a prime example of an “enabling” organisation.
- The Producer: The organisation develops and oversees a dedicated group of corporate entrepreneurs, with the intention of promoting large scale innovation. The producer may also encourage wider collaboration in an effort to generate new and exiting business ideas.
- The Advocate: The organisation will work with specific departments/units of an organisation in an effort to reinvigorate specific sections of the business. The advocate strongly endorses entrepreneurship; however, funding will come from the budget of each department.
Assessing your Capacity for Corporate Entrepreneurship
Think your organisation is ready to take the next step in entrepreneurial innovation? Before making that decision, consider the questions below and provide a rating for each (1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree).
- My organisation encourages innovation
- Employees are encouraged to come up with innovative ideas
- My manager encourages employees to take risks
- Employees are given a lot of autonomy in my job role
- My manager does not punish or harshly criticise mistakes
- My role allows me to make full use of my abilities
- My organisation gives special recognition for good work
- My job is challenging
- My manager removes barriers, so I can get my work done
- Employees have enough time to get everything done
- Employees always have time to engage in long term problem solving
- Employees are given time to work on developing new ideas
- Employees have no doubts regarding what is expected of them
- There is little uncertainty about employees’ roles
- Managers frequently discuss work performance with employees
Sources: Kuratko, D. F., Hornsby, J. S., & Covin, J. G. (2014). Diagnosing a firm’s internal environment for corporate entrepreneurship. Business Horizons, 57(1), 37-47.; Kuratko, D. F., Hornsby, J. S., & Hayton, J. (2015). Corporate entrepreneurship: the innovative challenge for a new global economic reality. Small Business Economics, 45(2), 245-253.; Turner, T., & Pennington, W. W. (2015). Organizational networks and the process of corporate entrepreneurship: how the motivation, opportunity, and ability to act affect firm knowledge, learning, and innovation. Small Business Economics, 45(2), 447-463.; Wolcott, R. C., & Lippitz, M. J. (2007). The four models of corporate entrepreneurship. MIT Sloan Management Review, 49(1), 75.
Generate an overall corporate entrepreneurship score for your organisation. Based on your score, what needs to be done within your organisation to further promote corporate entrepreneurship.
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