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Entrepreneurship Case

Essay by   •  April 23, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,973 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,307 Views

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Drawing on both your understanding of concepts and ideas covered during the module and your experience of working in a team, identify and evaluate the factors associated with the creation of an entrepreneurial organisation.

The term 'entrepreneur' is a derivative of the French term entreprendre meaning "to undertake". It was first coined in the early 18th century by Richard Cantillon, who perceived an entrepreneur as risk taker (Hisrich and Peters 2002, p8). Jean-Baptiste Say furthered Cantillions' ideas to include that entrepreneurs had to be leaders (Schumpeter, 1951 pp.248-250). Robinson et al. (2007, p.413) summarised views by saying, an entrepreneur is "a person who creates something of value and assumes the risk of building a business around it".

Cooper and Bruno (1977) suggest that because team based ventures out do the ventures of an individual entrepreneur that entrepreneurial teams are the way forward. Kamm and Nurick (1993) explore the definition of entrepreneurial teams to include 'new venture' and 'shared ownership', but to answer the proposed question the assignment will attempt to establish the other factors entrepreneurial organisations can adopt, in order to become successful and the characteristics involved.

The Harvard Business Review (1994) claims that 'cross functional teams (CFT's)' are becoming the cure for companies. Webber (2002, p.201) explains that CFTs are a collection of individuals with "diverse functional specializations" that work together in an organisation. Jackson et al. (1995) says these teams are being formed to enhance innovation with the belief of producing more creative thinking.

British Petroleum (BP) applied this team structure in order to try and develop gas and oil economically. The CFT from a vast range of disciplines enabled them to reconsider all aspects of the problem. By not looking at only technological aspects for a solution they came up with an "alliance" approach looking at the relationship between BP and its contractors, which in turn maximised profit and reduced the time scale of the project. (Humtech, 2010)

The week 5 debate raised awareness of the importance of such a team. Going into the debate as the group speaker I felt I possessed a 'silo mentality' towards my area of business. Wilson (2003) explains that a 'silo mentality' is going into a situation with a narrow mind for a particular function or speciality. The debate allowed me to understand the functions of all areas of business and the qualities each possessed which, later elaborated in the module, would help me appreciate the benefits that could be gained from such a team.

Colwell (2001) says that for optimal creativity within a team, it is necessary to generate many ideas (fluidity) in order to find the good ones, not simply "settle" for the best alternative. Michalko (1991) came up with the concept of SCAMPER. Michalko's SCAMPER was a set of 9 deliberately provocative tools which aided idea generation. One such example is the 'Mars Bar' owned by the company Mars Inc. By using one of Michalko's tools called 'substitution', Mars Bar substituted the nougat for ice-cream in order to increase sales in the summer period due to falling chocolate sales and rising ice cream purchases. It continued to further its success through this method by applying 2 more of the 9 tools; 'minimise' and 'magnify'. This created the 'King Size Mars Bar' and the miniature mars bars found within the chocolate box selection 'Celebrations'.

Idea Generation is a means of divergent thinking by allowing options from the fluidity, it is the convergent thinking by means of idea evaluation and selection which entrepreneurial organisations can find challenging.

Amabile et al. (2003, p.4) expressed that, "when creativity is under the gun, it usually ends up getting killed". Innovation and idea killers limit the progression of many organisations by knocking back ideas. Berkun (2006) says these 'thought inhibitors' are unconstructive responses with phrases involving the words 'but' and 'not'.

Landale (2005) emphasises his belief in Edward DeBonos' 'Six Thinking Hats' as an idea evaluation technique. The 'Six Thinking Hats' discourages the antagonistic culture of 'Right Vs. Wrong' through 'Parallel Thinking', which eliminates the need for case-making arguments and encourages joint exploration of a given subject (Edward DeBono, 2004). The method uses 6 metaphorical hats of varying colours to represent different opinions for embracing an idea for evaluation. The method encourages members of a team to 'wear' these hats and embrace the idea with a certain view in order to successfully evaluate an idea completely.

Working well in a team, such as in the situation previously mentioned, is a fundamental ingredient for effective functioning (LaFasto et al., 1989). Belblin established that individuals adopt a certain behaviour or a 'role' when put into a team and it is through doing this that their tendencies in the situation are recognised (Belbin, 2010). He recognised 9 roles with differing behaviours, which people can adopt in a team situation.

Preparation for the Week 5 debate enabled me to recognise the role I played in my team. I considered myself to be the 'completer finisher' of the group, as I appointed myself to be the person who made the final edit of the speech and in turn did the speech itself. I found myself being a perfectionist with extreme attention to detail to both the content and the way it would be presented, which posed advantageous as I was the speaker. When morale ran low and not much was being done, I was the main source of enquiry to ensure everyone was sticking to their appointed roles. However in a situation such as this, I felt I also became a team leader, encouraging both motivation and productivity, which I felt was essential to our success.

Burns (1998) explains that as an organisation is growing the entrepreneurial founder's role needs to change. Stelios Haji-Ioannou; founder of EasyJet and Michael Dell; founder of Dell Computers, had to metamorphosise into leaders in order to manage the entrepreneurial organisation (Burns, 1998). Bolton and Thompson (2003) imply an entrepreneurial leader is a champion of change, whilst ensuring that entrepreneurial employees are recognised, encouraged and rewarded.

Farson and Keys (2002) explain that founders are recognising failure as a common prerequisite to a successful invention. With this in mind they explore the subject of the 'failure tolerant leader'. IBM's

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