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February, 2014

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DOES SPIRITUALITY HAVE A PLACE IN  ENTREPRENEURSHIP BEHAVIOR? Clarity of visionIn her pursuit of gain SB believed in the power of prayer. She bought herself a distributor kit worth RM2,000 and did not know how to go about making her first sales. The first person who knew of her product was her maid.
“In order to earn an income from my venture, I prayed. I did not know where to sell and who would buy my products, so I merely showed my maid my product and expressed by dilemma. The maid told other maids. My first customer was a female gynecologist who through her maid called upon me to make purchasers for her five daughters. I stressed to her the fact it was gold plated jeweler and she told me that when she was a student overseas she was fond of wearing gold plated jewellery. Her purchase amounted to RM1,600. Soon through the doctor word got around and people called upon me to buy the gold plated jewellery. I thought people would not like it but they did as it was affordable and they worried less over its loss. Nevertheless, I was concerned for the doctor. She had made a large purchase and I worried whether she would look after her purchase well. If I could I would have looked after her purchase for her.”
The economic downturn affected SB whereby during times like this a few members of her network abandoned ship and were attracted to get quick rich schemes. SB asserts that loosing a down-line member is akin to loosing a child after all the effort spent in training and grooming had been invested. During such an episode she went to Mecca alone.
“I went to Mecca alone seeking for inspiration; I wanted focus. The prayer of Prophet Suleiman inspired me. It taught me to continue being grateful and to keep on doing good deeds. Regardless of my state I must continue doing goods deeds as much as I was capable of doing.”

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DOES SPIRITUALITY HAVE A PLACE IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP BEHAVIOR? Ability to learn from many sources and from social relationships

SB’s prevalent economic situation then may have driven her to make the commitment as a teacher’s salary was suffocating her: “My husband and I were both graduates but our pay was just slightly more than that of high school teachers; enough to cover toll charges, petrol costs and parking fees. My parents could afford to go to Mecca but my husband and I couldn’t. Small savings were painful and restrictive to me, as my salary remained stable; and my responsibilities many. When someone called asking for help and in a state of distress I could only cry with that person in sympathy; as I did not have money to give. I felt I could not help others.”
SB was open to learning from many sources: company X; the person who mentored her, her up-line, CL; qualified motivators, science experts, spouse, other agents and distributors. Her reflections on the learning process are as follows: “I attended training conducted by Company X armed with notes and thick books. I would read up all those thick books and the available techniques. CL was instrumental in teaching me the art of selling. I did not like wearing jewellery, but CL advised that if it is to be sold it must be worn. I was not comfortable making a sales pitch so CL said just smile. CL would say that if we were to wear small jewellery the orders would be small thus leading to small bonuses. I could not bring myself to do that as wearing large jewellery made me uncomfortable. Thus I wore small but expensive jewellery!”

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DOES SPIRITUALITY HAVE A PLACE IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP BEHAVIOR? Skills and knowledge development in the later stages

DOES SPIRITUALITY HAVE A PLACE IN  ENTREPRENEURSHIP BEHAVIOR? Skills and knowledge development in the later stagesSB started her career as a teacher as then in the village children were exposed to two occupations: teachers and clerks. Children in the village then were not exposed by anyone to the other possible occupations. Being a teacher attracted SB not because of the opportunity to teach but because it would enable her to be mobile. The position of a clerk was repulsive as it entailed being chained to the desk and restriction of mobility.
Upon completion of Upper Secondary School, SB enrolled in the Teachers Training College in Terengganu before she sought a transfer to the Islamic Teachers Training College in KL. She sought the transfer thinking that the latter would be able to train her to be a religious teacher. Being a religious teacher was her aim, as she wanted to know more about her faith Islam, to learn the Arabic language and at the same time build a career. SB’s stint at the college did not meet her expectations. She felt the college emphasized more on career rather than knowledge. After college, armed with the knowledge to teach deaf children Islamic knowledge, she went into teaching. Nine years of her life passed in this way without any satisfaction. She expresses her feelings with respect to this part of her life as follows:
“I did not get any satisfaction. The children were not interested in learning. Those nine years were not pleasant. Then I had the opportunity to further my studies in University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). There I developed my knowledge; I learnt Arabic and English. I had 3 children then and my love for what I was doing then made me at times neglect my kids. I was very happy as I acquired a lot of knowledge. After UKM, I was compelled to teach for four years as my study in UKM was on half pay. I waited patiently for the four years to pass.”

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An in-depth interview of around two and a half hours with a woman entrepreneur was executed on 18 September 2008. The interview was semi-structured, aiming to elicit the respondent’s account of how she (SB) became an entrepreneur and the experience and learning acquired along the way. An audio recording of the interview was made with the respondent’s consent and then transcribed. The transcript was then analyzed and distinct themes were extracted for the purpose of comparing them with themes extracted from similar interviews conducted by past researchers.
Rae and Carswell in seeking to determine the research question as to how people learn to act entrepreneurially used the life story or biographical approach. These researchers referred to past literature in asserting that such a method has become accepted as a research method; and that it has been found useful in eliciting new and deeply contextual insights into the entrepreneurial process. Thus in this interview the same approach was used to achieve the same objective. An analysis of the transcript enabled similar themes as discovered in the research by Rae and Carswell to be extracted.

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DOES SPIRITUALITY HAVE A PLACE IN  ENTREPRENEURSHIP BEHAVIOR? INTRODUCTION TO QUALITATIVE STUDYThe field study via the MEP by Thornberry enabled the following findings to be made at the individual level: (i) some people are able to display ES behavior naturally; (ii) some people needed a catalyst or coach to bring forth the inherent human condition of creativity and innovativeness; (iii) catalytic coaching that enables thinking out of the box allows a generation of a platform of ideas that leverage on the organization’s core competency to discover new product offerings and markets (iii) converting opportunity into a business plan was teachable as it required knowledge of marketing, finance, value, cash flow projections, skill set that can be taught; (iv) passion that reflects the mindset of the entrepreneur cannot be taught but can only be encouraged; (v) difficult to predict corporate entrepreneur success of trainee based on trainee’s background, education or past success; (vi) some trainees were good at identifying and opportunity and shaping and opportunity but were not excited by the implementation aspect of it as opposed to a start-up entrepreneur who would have displayed all three aspects of the ES process.
Several barriers were noted at the organizational level that prevented the trainees from achieving the objectives of the MEP: (i) reward structures that did factor an equity stake by intrapreneurs in the future venture; (ii) day jobs of trainees usurped most of their time and energy leaving little time or energy to pursue an innovative idea; (iii) lack of support from peers who felt threatened and jealous; (iv) lack of support from immediate superior; (v) do not have in place a CE process that emphasizes opportunity identification and shaping to be separated from implementation (the process approach); and/or that enables identification and support of a corporate entrepreneur (the person approach).
From the above study it appears that ES can be taught, coached and encouraged. In addition CE can be introduced into an organization and be effective provided tactical and intervention methods are wisely used to remove perceived or actual barriers to CE. The support and commitment of top management in such an organization is crucial to the extent it overshadows the negative contextual elements that militate against the CE process.

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For each factor, specific acts or initiatives were suggested based on the statistical analysis for implementation. Specific initiatives related to the first factor were: (i) separating CEO from the board; (ii) rewarding senior executives with stock right; (iii) attracting outside directors by rewarding them with stock ownership. With respect to the second and third factor specific initiatives suggested were as follows: (i) developing capacity to endure uncertain circumstances; (ii) developing the ability to seize opportunities; (iii) developing the ability to learn from failures; (iv) developing a self-efficacious personality; (v) developing an independent personality. The last factor embraced the following action plans: (i) improve staff participation in strategy formulation; (ii) formulate strategy flexibly according to the circumstances; (iii) adopt an enterprising strategy; (iv) flatten the organization structure; (v) emphasis on strategic financial control; (vi) set up a special department for innovation and venture; (vii) have in place an innovation-oriented culture.
Chen, Zhu & Anquan in their study measured CE via innovation and venture that appears to factor in the several facets of innovation as conceptualized by Johnson. Unlike Echols and Neck, they build their model on the premise that ES or CE can be taught.

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DOES SPIRITUALITY HAVE A PLACE IN  ENTREPRENEURSHIP BEHAVIOR? FACTORS THAT FACILITATE CERutherford and Holt in their research studied the affect of three antecedent variables, process, context and individual variables on CE. Process variable was measured via leadership support and reward alignment. Context variable was understood in light of communication climate, perceived organizational support and perception of co-workers. Individual variables reflected persons expected to be entrepreneurial and their personality traits and abilities. CE was measured via two dimensions: perception of the organization’s innovativeness and perception of the individual’s innovativeness. In addition, it was sought to discover whether CE would have a mediating affect between the three antecedent variables and the work outcomes. Work outcomes in their research focused on non-financial measures such as job satisfaction, affective commitment and turnover intention.

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Corporate entrepreneurship (CE) is perceived to be a construct subjected to a considerable degree of ambiguity (Rutherford and Holt, 2004). Rutherford and Holt reviewed seminal studies and discerned that the varied conceptualizations of CE included one common element that was innovation. The seminal studies reviewed have defined CE to include the following elements or set of behaviors: innovation and venturing, and strategic renewal; proactiveness, innovation and risk taking; autonomy, innovativeness, risk taking, proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness. The definition of CE by Rutherford and Holt is as follows: CE is the process of enhancing the ability of the firm to acquire and utilize the innovative skills and abilities of the firm’s members. At the heart of the said definition is the emphasis on the ‘…organizational members’ application of those innovative abilities and skills…’ The said definition is consistent and reflects the fact that in corporations, that are a type of business vehicle, entrepreneurial activities are initiated and carried out by individuals in the organization. Thus CE is a construct that captures ES in a corporate environment; whereby an employee of the corporation, who is referred to as an intrapreneur, exercises ES. Thornberry’s definition of CE in a similar manner as an ‘.attempt to take both the mindset and skill set demonstrated by successful start-up entrepreneurs and inculcate these characteristics into the cultures and activities of a large company.’, lays credence to the viewpoint that at the heart of CE is the mind and skill of a start-up entrepreneur.

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DOES SPIRITUALITY HAVE A PLACE IN  ENTREPRENEURSHIP BEHAVIOR? INTRODUCTIONEntrepreneurship and corporate entrepreneurship are terms readily used in the early twenty-first century. However, Johnson argues that the terms are used interchangeably and lack clarity. The ambiguity he argues may lead to poor firm performance as language is at the core of individual, business and organizational performance. An issue that arises in this area of research-entrepreneurship- pertains to its own conceptualization. Despite perceived ambiguity in the area of its definition there seems to be consensus that entrepreneurship is crucial for the survival of a business venture that will have a positive spillover effect on the society and economy of a country within which it operates.
The paper is divided into two parts. Issues that have arisen in entrepreneurship research will be unearthed via a review of the existing literature and discussed in the first part of this paper. The second part of the paper will disclose the findings of a qualitative study based upon an interview with a woman entrepreneur in Malaysia. Results from the said interview will then be compared against existing literature on women entrepreneurs to discern points of convergence or divergence if any.

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Labour Supply in a High Unemployment Economy: Conclusions and Policy Implications

To conclude, assuming that the job search behaviour is endogenous to labour market conditions then the ILO guidelines of defining the labour force status of the non-employed individuals may be inappropriate in high unemployment economies. The discouragement effect among the non-employed workers in these economies is more pronounced. Relaxing the ILO guidelines or reporting both narrow and broad unemployment rate help to provide estimates of the true extent of unemployment.
In this paper, we investigated the determinants of labour supply in Kosova. Our analyses suggested that the standard neoclassical framework of analysing individuals’ labour market behaviour might be inappropriate in economies such as Kosova due to demand-side restrictions preventing individuals from making choices compatible with the utility maximisation assumption. Demand-side restrictions push large numbers of Kosovars into inactivity (i.e. the discouraged workers) that would otherwise be searching for jobs. Our analysis suggested that ignoring this aspect of the labour market may produce misleading estimates and therefore misinform policy choices that could have lasting consequences.

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