DOES SPIRITUALITY HAVE A PLACE IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP BEHAVIOR? INTRODUCTION TO QUALITATIVE STUDY
The 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.
This part of the paper will seek to answer the question as to how a Malaysian woman entrepreneur learns to act entrepreneurially. In addition, it is sought to discover whether the method of learning to act entrepreneurially converges or diverges with the findings of past research.
Rae and Carswell in seeking to determine the research question as to how people learn to act entrepreneurially interviewed thirteen people from varied business backgrounds. This group comprised persons who had built up new businesses and those who had set up new businesses in the past but were now taking on non-executive roles. These people were asked how they had built a successful business, and to describe their learning experiences as they developed their career and their business ventures. Narratives of these respondents were analyzed and distinct themes were extracted: (i) common personal characteristics shared were such as high need for achievement, determination, goal-setting, need for challenge, opportunistic, sharpness of thought, decisive, drive for ownership, high selfefficacy or self-belief; (ii) generation of personal theory that relates to principles derived form the entrepreneurial experience that is used to guide decision making; (iii) in the earlier part of their career people developed a set of skills and knowledge about which they were confident and which were central to their careers; (iv) ability to learn from many sources, including direct experience, from experiment, failure or success; (v) learning from social relationship with others (parents, mentor, business owners, consultants, employees, non executive directors, academic teacher and other entrepreneurs).