Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research 1994

Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research

Abstracts from the 1994 Edition

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    Neil C. Churchill
    Daniel F Muzyka

    Boulevard de Constance
    77305 Fontainebleau, Cedex FRANCE

    (33) 1-60-72-40-13

    (33) 1-60-72-42-42

    Principal Topics
    The management processes and structure of two large and three small to medium sized entrepreneurial companies were intensively studied in order to determine the way they were managed with particular attention to innovation and to opportunity recognition and capture. From this study, a model of Entrepreneurial Management was developed.

    The management processes and structure of three small to medium sized entrepreneurial companies were intensively studied through field interviews with management and technical staff at all levels of each company and by examining documents such as organizational charts, financial statements, company-authored articles, and the like. A tentative model of entrepreneurial management was developed and used as the basis of an in-depth grounded research study of two large corporations with a history of innovation and entrepreneurial behavior. In-depth, field interviews were held with management and technical staff in the US, in Europe and in Japan both to augment and to test, qualitatively, the model developed in the first phase of the study.

    Major Findings
    The factors of management commone to all the companies during their period of entrepreneurial managment were: a focus upon a continual , self-renewing stream of opportunity recognition and capture; an organizational context in which people are challenged and trusted rather than copensated and managed; and where a number of both "facilitating" and "enabling" mechanisms are in place which permit entrepreneurship to occur. Among these are the evaluation of performance on progress toward agreed-upon goals which are prospective and value-defined, recognition that all resources, be they human, physical, or informational, are there for the uses of everyone and every unit in the organization; recognition that knowledge is the secret to rapid opportunity recognition and capture -and consequently , delegation of decision making, including the incremental commitment of resources, to those possessing the requisite knowledge; recognition and its focus on facilitating others rather than decision making and information processing activities; and fianally trust at all levels of the organization-the ingrained belief that people are trying to do their best and that well thought-through actions will be accepted even if the results prove dissapointing.

    In the present environment where change in technology and market requirements are not only raipid but increasingly so and where complexity of demands, numerosity fo customers, and global competition exist, the old style of top-down decision-making no longer meets the test of the marketplace. Corporate ventures, "skunk-works" and occasional intrapreneurship are not enough. Old opportunities mature, mature products and services die and continual renewal of opportunity is needed if a company is to add value to its owners and to society. The answer seems to lie in opportunity-driven, entrepreneurial management.

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    Last updated November 19, 1996 by Cheryl Ann Lopez