DOES SPIRITUALITY HAVE A PLACE IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP BEHAVIOR? INTRODUCTION
Entrepreneurship 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.
Entrepreneurship is a creative act and as defined by Johnson in its narrowest sense, involves capturing ideas, converting them into products and, or services and then building a venture to take the product to market. Underlying this definition is innovation or newness that adds value to the owners, shareholders and society. Johnson has identified innovation in varied forms: research and development of new product and services, new usage of established product or service, exploitation of changes in market, operational and logistical innovation and business model innovation.
Any person or group of persons having the necessary entrepreneurial attitudes and behavior will be able to indulge in the creative act of entrepreneurship (ES). An appropriate business vehicle will be utilized to bring the creative act of entrepreneurship to fruition: a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a corporation. The first type of business vehicle is small thus the creative act of ES is vested in the owner-manager. With respect to partnerships and corporations, depending upon its size, the creative act of ES may be located in specific persons or group of persons, who owing to their role and authority in the organization have the ability to make changes in the organizations; and not necessarily the founder of the said business vehicle. However, this does not derogate from the possibility that some organizations given its in-house culture of innovativeness may create an environment that enables ES to cascade to every employee in the organization. Thus an entrepreneur can be the founder of the business vehicle or an employee of the said firm or corporation. The former in past research has been referred to as a start-up entrepreneur and the latter as an intrapreneur. An entrepreneur regardless of the type of business vehicle must display entrepreneurial attitudes and behavior: motivated to achieve and compete; takes ownership and accountability; making independent and self-directed decision; open to new information, people and practices; able to tolerate ambiguity and uncertainty; creative and flexible in thinking, problem solving and decision making; ability to see and capture opportunities; awareness of the risks attached to choices and actions; capacity to manage and ultimately reduce risks; persistence and determination in the face of challenge or lack of immediate reward; considering, discussing and formulating a vision and the capacity to make an impact.