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Service quality, satisfaction and loyalty in retail- banking

The structure i propose should be as follow:

Section 1
Abstract ( i need abstract ?)
1. Introduction
1.2 background information
1.3 Research Justification
1.4 Research objectives
1.5 Research structure

Section 2 / Literature Review
This could follow the structure proposed but you need to improve it. Make it coherent and lead to the discussion section.It should evaluate the lit.

Section 3
3 Discussion
The relationship between SERVQUAL and satisfaction is well studied. However, the direct and indirect relation between service quality dimensions and loyalty is limited. Thus, i attempted to address this topic considering the relevance of service quality and satisfaction to customers loyalty.
(Critical thinking is needed here)

Section 4
conclusion

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Exploring the Relationship between corporate entrepreneurship and Human Resource Management Practices A 152785 research report presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Management at Massey University Bo, ZHOU 02411261 2010 8,428 words

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Exploring the Relationship between
corporate entrepreneurship and
Human Resource Management
Practices
A 152785 research report presented in partial fulfilment of the
requirements of the degree of Master of Management
at Massey University
Bo, ZHOU
02411261
2010
8,428 words
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Research Report
Acknowledgement
My deepest and foremost gratitude goes to my supervisor, Dr. Kaye Thorn, for her
invaluable and constant support. Especially for her patience, instructions and
inspirational suggestions on the construction of my report, without which my
research could not be successfully conducted.
Secondly, I wish to express my humble appreciation to my colleagues, Bob and
Colin, for their support and encouragement throughout the semester.
And as always, a big thank you to my parents whom I have not seen for 3 years.
Thank you so much for your unconditional understanding and financial support on
my academic journey.
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Abstract
The rapid changing external environment is becoming more turbulent and complex,
adding critical challenges for organisations’ survival. There is a general consensus
in the management field that firms need to rely on their entrepreneurial capabilities to
develop new competencies and identify opportunities. There are three major aspects
of corporate entrepreneurship, innovation, venturing and strategic renewal. Each of
these can be influenced by firms’ human resource management. Therefore, human
resource management practices have important impact on firm’s corporate
entrepreneurship.
This review is conducted by analysing academic and empirical research addressing
the interactions between corporate entrepreneurship and human resource
management. Agreement has been found on the effects of human resource
management practices have on the successful implementation of firms’ corporate
entrepreneurship initiatives. Furthermore, by evaluating Hayton’s conceptual
framework of corporate entrepreneurship and human resource management
relationships, a new conceptual model has been developed to add temporal aspects
of organisation’s life cycle into the study of corporate entrepreneurship and human
resource management interactions. This could help scholars and practitioners to
enrich their knowledge on how organisations’ development stages can affect their
demands on corporate entrepreneurship and their available options of human
resource management practices. It is suggested that innovation and internal
venturing are mostly identified with start-ups and SMEs, while external venturing and
strategic renewal links to MNEs and mature organisations in traditional industry.
Future research directions are then discussed.
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Table of Contents
Acknowledgement …………………………………………………………………………………………. i
Abstract ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..ii
Chapter 1. Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
1.1 Background …………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
1.2 Research Justification …………………………………………………………………………… 2
1.3 Research Objectives …………………………………………………………………………….. 4
1.4 Report Structure…………………………………………………………………………………… 4
Chapter 2. Literature Review………………………………………………………………………….. 6
2.1 Entrepreneurship Development ……………………………………………………………… 6
2.2 corporate entrepreneurship ……………………………………………………………………. 8
2.2.1 Innovation ……………………………………………………………………………………. 11
2.2.2 Venturing …………………………………………………………………………………….. 13
2.2.3 Strategic Renewal…………………………………………………………………………. 15
2.2.4 Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Organisational Culture……………………….. 16
2.3 Human Resource Management ……………………………………………………………. 19
2.3.1 Human Resource Management Development …………………………………… 19
2.3.2 Human Resource Management and Organisational Culture and Behaviour
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 20
2.4 Interaction between Human Resource Management and corporate
entrepreneurship ………………………………………………………………………………… 22
2.4.1 Human Resource Management and Innovation…………………………………. 23
2.4.2 Human Resource Management and Venturing ………………………………….. 24
2.4.3 Behavioural and Cultural Influence ………………………………………………….. 25
Chapter 3. Critique, and Development of a New Model ……………………………………. 27
3.1 Conceptual Framework of corporate entrepreneurship and Human Resource
Management ……………………………………………………………………………………… 27
3.2 Temporal Model of Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Management
Demands…………………………………………………………………………………………… 29
3.3 Implications of the Framework ……………………………………………………………… 32
Chapter 4. Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………. 35
4.1 Future Research Direction …………………………………………………………………… 36
Reference List ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 39
Reflective Journal ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 46
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Chapter 1. Introduction
1.1 Background
Entrepreneurship was first identified in the 18th century, as a unique character of new
ventures for willing to involve in arbitrage activities such as taking financial risks
(Minniti & Lévesque, 2008). Despite being studied for centuries, entrepreneurship
remains a popular topic among academics and practitioners for its immense
influence on firms’ behaviour and success. It has evolved from a concept strictly
applied to the new venture creation process to a critical factor affecting firms’ ability
to develop competitive advantages that needs to be nurtured (J. G. Covin & Slevin,
1991; Grebel, Pyka, & Hanusch, 2003; Hayton & Kelley, 2006).
Recent decades have seen unimaginable advancement in modern technology, and
the world of work have been drastically reshaped as more and more workforce move
from traditional industries such as manufacturing, heavy labour and other prime
industries towards technology and service centred industries. Among the evolution is
the rise of small and medium-sized enterprises. As more and more small firms
starting to secure their positions on the top of the business world with their rapid
growth and success, research interest in entrepreneurship studies has again been
enhanced, due to the fact that entrepreneurial characteristics such as flexible
structure, innovation, visionary approach and risk acceptance are closely associated
to small and medium-sized enterprises (Naman & Slevin, 1993; Zahra, 1993).
Another concept that saw its rise in the 1980s is human resource management.
Originated by the shifting management paradigm towards humanitarian perspective
and early influential books about searching for excellent employees in the United
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States. (Blunt, 1990), human resource management has become a vital component
of managerial functions, and is considered a key strategic tool for obtaining
competitive advantages (Holland, Sheehan, & De Cieri, 2007). Extensive studies and
research have been done since then to explore different human resource
management practices beneficial to the success of firms, and different applications
of human resource management regarding to the changing economic environments
(Brewster & Holt Larsen, 1992; Doorewaard & Benschop, 2003).
1.2 Research Justification
There has never been a lack in management literature in regard to entrepreneurship
and Human Resource Managements two independent subjects. However, the
relationship between these two firm success factors remained unaddressed for a
long time. Studies that did touch upon the issue were highly conceptual.
In his 1986 work, Schuler accentuated the relationship between human resource
management practices and corporate entrepreneurship. He argued that human
resource management practice is an important factor for the success of corporate
entrepreneurship, and “By selecting and implementing the appropriate structure and
practices, human resource professionals can systematically foster and facilitate
innovation and entrepreneurship within their organisations.” (Schuler, 1986, p. 607).
This brought the increase of interest in the association between corporate
entrepreneurship and human resource management practices in the literature
(Hayton, 2005). Many empirical studies have then been conducted to explore the
interactions between the two variables. However, the majority of these studied are
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regional (Kaya, 2006; Schmelter, Mauer, Börsch, & Brettel, 2010; Wang & Zang,
2005), and primarily focused on small and medium-sized enterprises (Cassell, Nadin,
Gray, & Clegg, 2002; Hayton, 2003; Hornsby & Kuratko, 2003; Jack, Hyman, &
Osborne, 2006; Tocher & Rutherford, 2009). It is also difficult to draw conclusion
from these researches due to their single dimensional nature and the varies in focus
and specificity of the dependent variable (Hayton, 2005).
In addition, according to Hornsby and Kuratko (2003), the human resource
management practices applied to U.S. small enterprises has not changed over the
last ten years. Given the nature of changes and development in technology,
management paradigm and the economic environment, the lack of changes in
applied
human
resource
management
practices
raises
concern
that
the
entrepreneurial needs of these firms may not be effectively met (Hornsby & Kuratko,
2003). The threat is not only for small and medium-sized enterprises. In a more
complex, dynamic and evolving environment, it is essential for firms of all kinds to
become more entrepreneurial to identify new opportunities, assess new risks and
acquire new competitive advantages for sustained performance (Hayton, 2005).
Thus, it is important to develop a framework to integrate current studies on the
subject, to clarify the knowledge acquired so far, make them more generally
applicable, and to identify the gaps in the field, so to provide a focus for future
studies.
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1.3 Research Objectives
The research question addressed in this report is:
What is the relationship between firms’ corporate entrepreneurship/entrepreneurial
behaviour and their human resource management practices?
Based on the research question, there are three main objectives of this report:

To explore the relationship between human resource management practices
and firms’ corporate entrepreneurship

To identify how human resource management practices shape firms’
behaviour

To analyse current literature and develop a model of the association between
human resource management practices and firms’ corporate entrepreneurship
Therefore, this report in will examine the interactions between corporate
entrepreneurship and human resource management practices, and provide basic
guide lines for organisations to identify the degree of need for entrepreneurship and
how to utilise human resource management practices to accommodate such needs.
1.4 Report Structure
The paper will start off by presenting relevant theories and studies of
entrepreneurship and corporate entrepreneurship, exploring different aspects and
drivers of corporate entrepreneurship and its application to different type of
enterprises. The focus then will be focused on reviewing empirical studies on the
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association between entrepreneurship and human resource management practices,
analysing their findings, and discussing their applicability. The third part of the report
involves an evaluation of a conceptual framework of the relationship between
corporate entrepreneurship and human resource management practices, a new
temporal model is developed to assess the relationship between human resource
management practices and entrepreneurship through an organisation’s life cycle.
Conclusions will then be drawn by discussing the implications of the framework, and
the directions for further studies.
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Chapter 2. Literature Review
2.1 Entrepreneurship Development
The field of entrepreneurship has been studied for almost three centuries. Initially, it
was only identified as the pursuit of risky opportunities by new ventures (Minniti &
Lévesque, 2008), and the study around the topic was centred around individual
behaviour and characteristics of the entrepreneur, rather than treating it as a firm
wide phenomena (Grebel, et al., 2003).
According to Shane and Venkataraman (2000, p. 218) the study of entrepreneurship
is the ‘examination of how, by whom, and with what effects opportunities to create
future goods and services are discovered, evaluated, and exploited’. This strongly
implies that there is a need for investigation prior to entrepreneurship development.
Considering that the study of entrepreneurship is moving into an upward spiral, many
scholars in this field also continue to contribute their own as addition to the growing
body of knowledge. Due to this ambiguous nature, there is a lack of uniformity and
agreement in the literature regarding to this topic. Scholars often choose the most
appropriate explanation concerning their particular study, rather than employing a
generally accepted definition. The research field is often regarded as fragmented
and its results are considered noncumulative, handicapping the evolution of the field
as a respected scholarly discipline (Schildt, Zahra, & Sillanp, 2006). With the recent
rapid increase of research interest in the field of entrepreneurship, the need for a
framework that defines the domain of the field, reveals the relevant factors
contributing to the topic and identifies the variables of interest is apparent (Shane &
Venkataraman, 2000; Zahra & Dess, 2001).
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Theories are necessarily important as the studies associated with entrepreneurship
continue to increase in number. Entrepreneurship as a scholarly field requires
development of theories and testing them so as to ensure relevant and related
studies in the future (Zahra, 2007). This is to say that research is an important
aspect to be considered in entrepreneurship in order to come up with relevant
information that can still be subjected to further studies and will pave the way to
better understanding of its context. In fact, with much available research in line with
the subjects of entrepreneurship, the different contexts in this field have been slowly
understood because of the unravelling of some important details or relevant
information. With this, the modern consideration regarding entrepreneurship has
become wide spread through the presence of different research about the subject
matter.
In connection with this, a firm’s level of entrepreneurship requires establishment of
empirical instrument such as opportunity-based management (Brown, Davidsson, &
Wiklund, 2001). This is to ensure proper and efficient way of evaluation of the firm’s
existing entrepreneurship. It is not only to ensure evaluation but in the end the main
purpose of gathering empirical instruments is to substantially create more systematic
approach in understanding information about entrepreneurship itself.
On the other hand, entrepreneurship and its development can be viewed within the
context of entrepreneurial style, organisational structure and mission strategy that
are enough to fit with its environment (Naman & Slevin, 1993). Understanding
entrepreneurship in these different contexts paved way to empirical studies.
Information based on empirical evidence is required so as to substantially meet the
demand for the creation of right idea on entrepreneurship.
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Aside from the academic approach in understanding entrepreneurship prior to its
development, there is also a need for practicality based on the human’s social
experience. It was found that personal control and innovation were specific and
common elements affecting entrepreneurial behaviour which can also be predicted
using entrepreneurial attitude scale applied to entrepreneurs and consumers
(Huefner & Hunt, 1994). This study suggests that entrepreneurship behaviour does
not only focus on entrepreneurs but the same level was also investigated on
consumers.
Specifically,
everyone
has
a
natural
tendency
to
implement
entrepreneurship on his or her own way. This is a significant activity that is observed
in research and studies as entrepreneurship is on its way moving forward to further
development.
The firm’s survivability is determined by its founders’ endowments and its
competitiveness. Whether actors are right or wrong in evaluating their economic
situation and their consequent decisions is proven ex post. Thus, there will be
winners and losers in this economic system (Grebel, et al., 2003; Hayton, 2003).
Entrepreneurship development therefore is about reaching competitive advantage
and those who are not able to reach it will definitely have to constantly innovate and
try creating more meaningful strategy that would work good in the end.
2.2 corporate entrepreneurship
To compensate the drawbacks and to enrich future studies of entrepreneurship, a
new stream of thought started to attract attentions from scholars and practitioners:
corporate entrepreneurship (corporate entrepreneurship). There is a wide multitude
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of definitions of corporate entrepreneurship. It is often referred to as a strategic
orientation that a firm holds which involves the regeneration of products, renewal of
operation process, services, and strategies or the structure of the organisation (J. O.
Covin & Miles, 1999). corporate entrepreneurship involves the active organisational
learning, driven by collaboration, innovation and individual commitment within the
organisation (Hayton, 2005). corporate entrepreneurship possesses all the traits of
entrepreneurship such as innovation, vision of opportunities, and risk tolerance
(Ireland, Covin, & Kuratko, 2009). It can be perceived as the result of successful
attempt of searching and seizing of entrepreneurial opportunities presented by the
asymmetries of market or technological knowledge (Hayton, 2005), that may lead to
economic rewards such as superior financial and market performance (Chander,
Keller, & Lyon, 2000; Loof & Heshmati, 2002).
Corporate entrepreneurship becomes the significant tool not only that its underlying
context contains theoretical framework but because of some important corporate
advantages. The following are significant findings of Zahra (1996) when it comes to
the importance of corporate entrepreneurship in organisational survival, profitability,
growth and renewal. It was found that executive stock ownership and long-term
institutional ownership have positive relationship with corporate entrepreneurship
and a negative relationship with short-term institutional ownership. The next
emphasis was that stock owners can prevent internal product development which
was found to be the usual path of corporate entrepreneurship. Finally, the
technological opportunities of industry can stand as moderating variable of the
relationship
between
corporate
governance
entrepreneurship.
9
and
ownership
and
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As mentioned earlier, corporate entrepreneurship is a specific strategy of the firm to
be competitive. In order to obtain or sustain competitive advantage of the firm,
dynamic capabilities are needed to be understood and such could be through finding
the relatedness of substantive capabilities and dynamic capabilities, the contribution
of organisational knowledge and skills in such relationship, the impact of
organisational age to speed of utilisation of dynamic capabilities and mode of
learning used for organisational change, and the impact of organisational knowledge
and market dynamism to the value of dynamic capabilities (Zahra, Sapienza, &
Davidsson, 2006). In other words, the firm itself must obtain all the essential ideas
about corporate entrepreneurship so as to remain in the edge of competitive
advantage.
Rutherford and Holt developed a conceptual model (Figure 1) of corporate
entrepreneurship to cover some of the components of corporate entrepreneurship:
process, context and individual characteristics (Rutherford & Holt, 2007). This model
provides a theoretical framework for identifying the different components of corporate
entrepreneurship and how they interact to create desirable outcomes. In the actual
setting, theory is always the source of ideas prior to actual implementation and
creation of output. In sustained corporate entrepreneurship for instance, theoretical
foundations are important especially if some aspects need to be emphasised such
as the relationship existing between perceived implementation and output (Kuratko,
Hornsby, & Goldsby, 2004).
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In the current field of study, there are three major aspects of corporate
entrepreneurship in regard to the type of entrepreneurial activities engaged in by
firms: innovation, venturing, and strategic renewal (Guth & Ginsberg, 1990).
2.2.1 Innovation
Innovation is argued to be behind of all forms of corporate entrepreneurships as far
as reaching for competitive advantage is concerned, but it can also be better viewed
as a way for the firms to redefining or changing themselves (J. O. Covin & Miles,
1999). Clearly, innovation and corporate entrepreneurship created a strong link
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between them that the movement of the other will essentially affect the other and
vice versa. Innovation is understood as a process of transforming entrepreneurial
opportunities such as ideas and inventions to marketable or value-adding products,
processes, services or organisational changes which leads to growth (Guth &
Ginsberg, 1990; Hayton, 2005). Thus, with innovation, there is a strong capability of
corporate entrepreneurship to go beyond its limit.
In pursuit of competitive advantage, firms have continuously tapped their internal and
external sources in the midst of technological revolution (Zahra & Nielsen, 2002).
This is a reliable proof that innovation is on the go and it does not only go on its own
but with the change of time and trends.
Innovation was originally seen as an individual behaviour. It is often identified with
the entrepreneur as a personal trait to be creative, and visionary (Freeman & Engel,
2007). The shifting perspective of innovation is also tied to firm’s growth. Start up
companies and small and medium-sized enterprises normally have less human
capital. There are less bureaucratic strains due to the small size, and structure,
which enables the structure and resources to be flexible. These are two major
catalysts for promoting individual innovation. Thus, these firms’ competitive
advantages can often be acquired from individual innovation.
Now as firm grows, there is often need for a bureaucratic structure to centralise
control, as resources distribution becomes more restricted. Innovative opportunities
have to be carefully evaluated. This is due to the fact that there are more demands
and requirements to be met from the growing number of businesses. Thus, the
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organisation becomes less flexible, and the supportive environment for individual
innovation fades as other demands compete for management’s attention.
The ability to facilitate innovation and seize entrepreneurial opportunities now falls on
to the organisation as a whole to become innovative. Later studies started to link it to
the organisation itself, as when the business grows larger, individual innovation is no
longer enough to provide the competencies that the firm requires to survive the
intensified competition and the rapid change of environment (Freeman & Engel,
2007; Rutherford & Holt, 2007). Thus, the organisation needs to become innovative
as a whole entity, active learning must be enabled throughout the organisation to
create the environment necessary to stimulate innovation in all aspects of the
business (Zahra, Nielsen, & Bogner, 1999).
As a result, the innovation aspect of corporate entrepreneurship does not only reflect
innovation at personal level, but rather innovation at an organisational level. This
level of innovation no longer applies only to the commercialisation of entrepreneurial
ideas, but also the business practices of the organisation. One of these aspects is
corporate venturing.
2.2.2 Venturing
Venturing is a process of business creation. This can be achieved by establishing
new business units inside the organisation, acquiring a new business, or alliance and
partnership with another firm (Hayton, 2005). This often involves two different kinds
of process, internal venturing and external venturing (Burgers, Jansen, Van den
Bosch, & Volberda, 2009; Kuratko, Covin, & Garrett, 2009).
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Internal venturing is the creation of new business units. It is similar to innovation in a
sense that the firm needs to utilise its resources to transform an entrepreneurial idea
or strategic plan into an operational business. Internal venturing is often found in
organisations that operate in a highly competitive environment and industries with a
reliance on advanced technology (Meyer, Willcocks, & Boushell, 2008). In these
fields, the success of the organisation is closely tied to the proprietary technologies,
information, or skills that the companies possess. This creates the restriction that
prevent the firm from forming alliance or partnership with rivals as the risk of
exposing proprietary intellectual properties is high with these setups. In addition,
companies in these fields are normally newly established, having acquired enough
resources for future growth and still highly innovative. Thus, internal venturing
becomes the favourable option for such organisations to grow.
External venturing involves the acquisition of new businesses or establishment of
partnership (Burgers, et al., 2009). This process is different from internal venturing
as it does not necessarily require the organisation to be innovative, and create new
business opportunities with promising performance. Rather, the firm can obtain such
competitive advantages by acquiring the already established companies or through
the partnership with other companies that possesses the competencies valuable to
our own. External venturing is often identified with established firms such as
multinationals who have considerable resources in control and a solid market
position in the industry. These firms are in their maturity stage, with the resources
and experiences the organisation has acquired, external venturing is considered as a
more effective way for seeking corporate entrepreneurship and development
opportunities, as the size of the organisation and maturity of industry have limited the
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firm’s ability to be flexible to focus on the innovation process (Lassen, Gertsen, &
Riis, 2006; Mahnke, Venzin, & Zahra, 2007).
2.2.3 Strategic Renewal
Strategic renewal is defined as “the transformation of organisations through renewal
of the key ideas on which they are built on” (Guth & Ginsberg, 1990, p. 5). It is the
least studied aspect of corporate entrepreneurship due to the low possibility of
occurrence, and the difficulty in identifying the process and conducting empirical
studies with sufficient samples (J. O. Covin & Miles, 1999).
Despite this difficulty, many studies have been conducted to examine strategic
renewal. However, some of these studies are focused only on multinational
enterprises (Macpherson & Jones, 2008; Volberda, Baden-Fuller, & van den Bosch,
2001), and many have regarded strategic renewal as a type of corporate venturing
and treat the two as the same research objective in their research (Chakravarthy &
Lorange, 2008; Prashantham, 2008; Verbeke, Chrisman, & Yuan, 2007).
Nonetheless, strategic renewal has been identified to have significant impact on
firm’s future development, as it is one of the most effective approaches to obtain
sustainable
advantage
and
above
average
returns
as
far
as
corporate
entrepreneurship is concerned especially on autonomy, innovativeness, proactiveness, competitive aggressiveness and risk-taking (Dess & Lumpkin, 2005).
This aspect is especially relevant to organisations in traditional industries such as
primary manufacturing and heavy labour, as it can provide the essential
competencies and knowledge for such organisations to compete in a drastically
changed economic environment.
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2.2.4 Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Organisational Culture
Knowledge in corporate entrepreneurship is developed by individuals or groups
focusing on organisation, technical and social dimensions as eventual requirements
for competitive advantage (Zahra, et al., 1999). It is in this reason that there is a
need to focus on social behaviour for it remains an important aspect to deal with
prior to the success of entrepreneurship in general. Every business has to be
conducted by an entrepreneur but to create remarkable output; there is a need to
rely on human resource in particular. The human resource is a complex area that
needs to be focused. This area requires management that does not only deal with
organisation’s corporate goals but including the very essential parts of organisational
culture and entrepreneurial behaviour. In this section there are related studies
pointing to the importance and relationship between organisational culture and
entrepreneurial behaviour. As exercised values of a nation, a region, or an
organisation culture is very important to be learned prior to its association with
entrepreneurial activities. It is believed that there are many things to be learned in
behavioural research especially regarding between culture and entrepreneurship
(George & Zahra, 2002). There are many behavioural researches conducted about
its link to entrepreneurship and there are substantial ideas that need to be
investigated.
In family firms for instance, organisational culture is viewed to have significant impact
in gaining competitive advantage. Thus, with this consideration, it is important to take
closely the relationship or significant differences between family-run businesses and
non-family-run businesses (Zahra, Hayton, & Salvato, 2004). Family run-businesses
especially those by Chinese entrepreneurs are focused on family values and cultural
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conservatism. This creates remarkable impression that culture indeed plays an
important role prior to the success of entrepreneurship.
On the other hand, it was suggested in the study that citizenship behaviour
contributes significant impact to organisations’ social capital particularly in the
structural, relational, and cognitive aspects (Bolino, Turnley, & Bloodgood, 2002).
This is to say that an individual’s behaviour creates significant impact to the entire
organisation. However, this depends also on how the organisation influences the
entire human resource based on the implemented policies are somehow in line with
entrepreneurial behaviour and cultural behaviour. This remains a rich area for more
empirical explorations and it is because of this that there are more on-going studies,
which are necessary to be implemented.
The
conducted
empirical
studies
regarding
cultural
characteristics
and
entrepreneurship paved way to more meaningful understanding about national
cultural characteristics and entrepreneurship with their corresponding measures,
characteristics of each entrepreneur and other matters regarding corporate
entrepreneurship (Hayton, George, & Zahra, 2002). It is clear in this case that there
is a need to focus on cultural aspects that can be measurable prior to creating
successful corporate entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship is also about studying individual behaviour as well as his
organisational behaviour. This is necessary and important considering that
entrepreneurship talks about social and cultural factors as mentioned earlier. Part of
this consideration is to be able to find out the characteristics found in an individual
and the organisation. Existing literature on entrepreneurship suggests that
characteristics found in an individual and organisation have significant impact on
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entrepreneurial behaviour (Hornsby, Naffziger, Kuratko, & Montagno, 1993). For
instance, behaviours of middle-level managers were found to have significant impact
on entrepreneurial behaviour and thus to the success of corporate entrepreneurship
(Kuratko, Ireland, Covin, & Hornsby, 2005). Thus, there is a necessary move to be
exactly done. Entrepreneurial actions are strongly linked to successful corporate
entrepreneurship strategy which brought not just the improvement of products and
services and innovation but creating substantial changes to clients or customers
(Kuratko, Ireland, & Hornsby, 2001).
On the other hand, the need to improve requires not only the full understanding of
individual and organisational characteristics. Entrepreneurship is also about
embracing changes and doing something about it for the benefit of corporate goals.
Firms are constantly renewing their competencies in order to address the challenges
associated by the changes in the environment (Yiu & Lau, 2008). This includes
innovation on both products and the organisation in order to stay competitive. On the
other hand, it was suggested that innovative performance of a firm may be affected
by external business development through governance modes and venture
relatedness, corporate venture capital investments, alliances, joint ventures and
acquisitions (Keil, Maula, Schildt, & Zahra, 2008).
Substantial innovation is not the only factor that drives firms’ competency. Everything
must go back to basics, and this would involve more aspects about human resource
management in which motivation plays an important part to ensure employee
performance matches organisational targets. In their 2002 empirical study, Hornsby,
Kuratko and Zahra identified five factors that affect corporate entrepreneurship.
These are the appropriate use of rewards, top management support, resource
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availability, supportive organisational structure, and risk taking and tolerance of
failure (Hornsby, Kuratko, & Zahra, 2002). In addition, another study has found that
supervisory support and reward system support have positive association with
innovative culture of small and medium-sized enterprises (Chander, et al., 2000).
Furthermore, an innovative culture was found to be important consideration
especially in a highly competitive environment. Motivators to sustain entrepreneurial
process are important. In line with this, there are important implications of extrinsic
rewards, independence/autonomy, intrinsic rewards, and family and security in
sustaining ventures of entrepreneurs (Kuratko, Hornsby, & Naffziger, 1997). In
multinational enterprises and their subsidiaries, it is believed that economic and
behavioural aspects play significant role through delegation of authorities, giving of
incentives, promotions and implementation of clan structures (Mahnke, et al., 2007).
2.3 Human Resource Management
2.3.1 Human Resource Management Development
In the literature, most human resource management research that address firm level
performances often falls into two categories: focus on individual human resource
management practices such as motivation and compensation; systematic approach
that examines the impact of the whole human resource management systems have
on organisations (Hayton, 2005).
Human resource is the best asset that every company has. Each organisation must
find the best human resource management in order to preserve enthusiasm and gain
or encourage cooperation from the employees. Human resource management is
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essentially a decision making system for the organisation to ensure that the interests
of individual employee are aligned with the objectives of the organisation to achieve
performance maximisation (Heneman & Tansky, 2002). It is therefore clear that the
interest of its people is part of the human resource management development. This
is necessary because it is linked to company’s future achievement of its corporate
goals.
Aside from compensation and other reward system which encompass human
resource development, there is also a need to create a system with good design for
human resource development especially on recruitment and selection of manpower
(Holland, et al., 2007). It is necessary to be considered that each company must be
able to develop hiring system which would directly focus on choosing the best
employee with the same cultural behaviour or anything else with the organisation.
2.3.2 Human Resource Management and Organisational Culture and Behaviour
Considering that employees are very important resources of any firm, effective
employee management is viewed to have important roles in organisational
performance and survival such as training and development, work-life dimension and
more (Jack, et al., 2006). However, it is not enough to focus on this area alone.
There are still many areas waiting for further exploration. Organisational culture for
instance is one of them.
Culture varies across different organisations and because of this variation, there is a
great need to understand how each of them functions. It is also of great
consideration to understand how every culture can be integrated with one another.
Considering that there exist cultural differences between every nation, organisational
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factors were found to affect entrepreneurial behaviours among managers (Hornsby,
Kuratko, & Montagno, 1999). Every organisation has underlying culture to follow in
order to achieve its corporate goals. The idea that each nation’s culture vary from
one another is a big challenge knowing that the human resource management needs
to align such variations for the benefit of the organisation. For instance, it is good to
consider the case of each regional manager assigned differently from one country to
another. This is in the case of multinational companies with various extensions into
other places. It was found that there are significant differences on perceptions
between managers regarding organisational environment and entrepreneurial ideas
(Hornsby, Kuratko, Shepherd, & Bott, 2009). This alone is a challenge to the human
resource management. Such challenge can only be addressed by providing system
that will perfectly fit in the need.
It is not only the different perceptions among managers or higher ranks in the
companies that matters in relation to creating effective human resource management
system. Personal values, leader-member exchange, perceived organisational
support, self-efficacy and credential of information source also have significant
influence on employees’ decision to the point that some of them may prefer to
pursue learning and development activities among others (Maurer, Pierce, & Shore,
2002). Employees need to be clearly understood because such understanding will
create significant bases on how to manage the human resource despite any
challenges that will be brought about by organisational culture and behaviour.
Building an environment that supports active learning and open communication can
create a better sense of belonging for the employees, build trust and enhance
employee commitment (Song, Kim, & Kolb, 2009). Therefore, it is shown that not all
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employees are highly motivated by monetary rewards. This only proves that some
other factors need for more careful considerations.
2.4 Interaction between Human Resource Management and
corporate entrepreneurship
Many studies in the current literature argue that human resource management
practices is an important driver of corporate entrepreneurship due to the involvement
of organisational learning driven by collaboration and individual commitment (Kaya,
2006; Slotte, Tynjala, & Hytonen, 2004; Song, et al., 2009). Human resource
management may also facilitate corporate entrepreneurship by creating an
entrepreneurial culture which promotes entrepreneurship with encouragement for
entrepreneurial behaviour, rewards for innovation, delegation of responsibility and
release of centralised control (Hayton, 2005). Thus, managers are able to foster and
encourage entrepreneurial activities systematically by designing and implementing
appropriate HR practices within the organisation (Schmelter, et al., 2010).
It is then important to encourage opportunities for corporate entrepreneurship. In
order to create more opportunities for corporate entrepreneurship, it is important to
create roles, behaviours and individual competencies on business development
(Hayton & Kelley, 2006). Thus, the human resource management must remain
strong in its implementation for policies which demand competence.
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2.4.1 Human Resource Management and Innovation
Innovation is one of the closest links between corporate entrepreneurship and
Human Resource Management. From the human resource management practices
perspective, compensation practices and performance rewards practices have major
influence on innovative performances (Balkin & Montemayor, 2000; Werbel & Balkin,
2010). Recent studies on human resource management systems suggested that the
impact of ‘new’ human resource management practices (such as team based task,
delegation, and evaluation and rewards based on performance) on firm innovation
will be greater when they are used in combination (Laursen, 2002; Laursen & Foss,
2003). These practices require support from decentralised control, improved
coordination and better combination of knowledge and skill (Hayton, 2005). Thus,
these findings suggest that an active organisational learning environment is favoured
for innovation.
Human resource management plays important role in order to create more excellent
entrepreneurial performance. It is important to consider the impact of human capital
management and practices have on firms’ competencies (Hayton, 2003). There is an
increasing trend in human resource management systems and innovation identified
by research, that human resource management practices can be utilised to create a
supportive environment for cooperation, and the development of human and social
capital which leads to proactive organisational learning (Hayton, 2005). Firms trying
to become more entrepreneurial need to come up with better strategic management
practices (Barringer & Bluedorn, 1999). With this approach comes the need to
become more innovative especially on the level of human resource management.
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Scholar have also identified the impact of agency theory has on the firm’s innovation
performance. It is argued that employees acting as agents have priority on personal
gains over the organisation that they work for (Heneman & Tansky, 2002). In
addition, employees are more risk averse than employers as they do not possess the
competency to diversify their risks as effectively as the organisation (Hayton, 2005;
Lerner, Azulay, & Tishler, 2009), thus it is important for human resource
managementto develop effective systems to promote entrepreneurial behaviour,
improve employees’ risk acceptance , and monitor employee performances to
ensure that all the innovative behaviour and activities are acceptable and in line with
the organisation’s entrepreneurial demand (Freeman & Engel, 2007; Werbel & Balkin,
2010).
2.4.2 Human Resource Management and Venturing
Corporate venturing involves the creation or acquisition of a new business in order to
explore entrepreneurial opportunities (Hayton, 2005). The influence that human
resource management has on corporate venturing is similar to the ones on
innovation.
Compensation practice is regarded as a major human resource management factor
that has immense influence on the performance of venturing (Hayton, 2005; Lerner,
et al., 2009). The rationale behind this argument is that the compensation method for
the new venture does not only need to provide enough attraction an retention of
employees, but also need to ensure internal equity within the organisation is properly
maintained (Lerner, et al., 2009; Prashantham, 2008). This is to build enough
competencies for the new venture to grow, and to make sure resources are properly
distributed within the organisation for other operation demands.
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Compensation practice can also serve as a performance feedback to evaluate and
retain commitment of the employees (Kuratko, et al., 2009). The development of new
ventures is a long process with uncertainty and risk, and the success of new
ventures are hard to measure as they may not be profitable initially (Hayton, 2005).
Thus the need for sustained high performance level and commitment on the new
venture is expected from the manager and employees to enhance the possibility of
venture success (Hayton, 2005; Lerner, et al., 2009).
The high level of uncertainty and risk of failure also put strains on employees’
motivation to take part in venturing operations. Therefore, risk acceptance becomes
another factor that will have impact on venturing performance. In addition, unlike
other entrepreneurial behaviours and innovative activities generally promoted to
employees, venturing opportunities are more limited to personnel that possess the
necessary skills and competencies for the development of the new venture (Hayton,
2005). Effective screening system for the recruitment of human resources in the new
venture, proper training and education on venturing risks, and support and
evaluation systems are among other human resource management practices that
have potential influence on the success of corporate venturing (Ireland, et al., 2009;
Kuratko, et al., 2009).
2.4.3 Behavioural and Cultural Influence
Behavioural and cultural influences are other significant components between the
interaction of human resource management and corporate entrepreneurship. There
is already a strong consensus in the field of human resource management studies
that human resource management is a key factor that shapes organisations’ culture
and behaviour (Bolino, et al., 2002; Werbel & Balkin, 2010). It is suggested that
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Human Resource Management can positively promote creativity and innovation due
to its capability of creating and shaping supportive culture (Chander, et al., 2000).
Further studies provide support to this argument, adding that employee engagement
in beneficial discretionary behaviours promoted by human resource management
can help build trust, enhance organisational learning, and thus create better social
capital (Bolino, et al., 2002), which can facilitate the development of corporate
entrepreneurship (Hayton, 2005).
Human resource management practices in corporate entrepreneurship are also
found to affect firm performance (Kaya, 2006). By matching the right human
resource into corporate culture and the development of high-potential employees,
human resource management may have significant contributions to firm’s
entrepreneurial performance (Heneman, Tansky, & Camp, 2000). Furthermore,
based on the study revealing that human resource management is expected to be
better when applied in knowledge-intensive industries (Laursen, 2002). All these
findings suggest a strong link between human resource management and the firms’
culture and behaviour, and they in turn affect firms’ corporate entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 3. Critique, and Development of a New Model
3.1 Conceptual Framework of corporate entrepreneurship and
Human Resource Management
The field of corporate entrepreneurship and human resource management studies
have remained fragmented. Although there is consensus in the literature that
confirms the interactions between corporate entrepreneurship and human resource
management, there has yet been a theoretical foundation that integrates the
elements together to guide the studies in the field. Hayton’s (2005) conceptual
framework for the relationship between human resource management and corporate
entrepreneurship (Figure 2) is among the first in the field to provide an effective
model for the identification and understanding of the interactions between corporate
entrepreneurship and human resource management. The extensive coverage of
entrepreneurial and human resource management factors within an organisation
provides a broad, systematic view of the relationship, thus filled some gap in the
literature by presenting an integrated framework.
However, the framework is highly conceptual. The argument in his analyses provides
a thorough explanation on how actual human resource management practices and
system designs can influence corporate entrepreneurship. The framework, however,
does not include these detailed elements which could greatly facilitate the
understanding and applicability of the framework.
In addition, contextual factors such as types of organisations, industry and economic
environment will affect the effectiveness of the model, which makes the framework
less applicable in reality. Moreover, there is a lack of temporal aspect in the
framework. The stages in an organisation’s life cycle is an important variable that
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has great influence on the organisation’s needs of corporate entrepreneurship, the
available options of human resource management practices, and organisational
culture and behaviour (Hoy, 2006). These elements all contribute to the interactions
between corporate entrepreneurship and human resource management through
different stages of organisation’s development.
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3.2 Temporal Model of Entrepreneurship and Human Resource
Management Demands
In order to fill the gaps left in Hayton’s model and to aid future studies, a model that
incorporates temporal perspectives has been developed (Figure 3) to integrate
current studies more effectively and provide insights on issues that have not been
addressed.
Unlike the study of product life cycle, there are a wide range of definitions and
configurations for an organisation’s life cycle. For the purpose of this study, a
generalised model of organisation’s life cycle is proposed. The model divided the
organisation’s life span into four major periods: start up, growth, maturity and decline.
The structure, behaviour and operation of the organisation all differ in each stage.
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This includes the demand on entrepreneurship, and the focus on human resource
management practice.
Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial behaviour are often identified with small, start
up companies. Unlike multinational enterprises, these companies do not possess
significant capital or human resources. Thus the demand for human resource
management is relatively low. The competitiveness of these companies relies on
their ability to innovate and taking risks. The incentives for firms in the start-up stage
to accept and take risky opportunities is greater due to their highly uncertain nature,
than for mature firms in a well established position (Hayton, 2005). These
entrepreneurial traits act as critical factors for the company’s survival.
Although larger corporations have competitive advantages due to size and capital,
start-ups in high technology can exploit changes in technology that produce market
disruptions. Creativity is enhanced in organisations that work in teams with shifting
job responsibilities versus the bureaucratic structure of large corporations. Study has
confirmed that innovative behaviour is one of the most important success factors for
rapid growth among small firms (Barringer, Jones, & Neubaum, 2005). The growth of
small business greatly relied on its ability to innovate, thus, the innovation aspect of
corporate entrepreneurship is closely linked to this stage of development.
After establishment, the need for growth begins to rise. There is a high demand of
human resources for the growth of the company. Thus, the demand of focus on
Human Resource Management starts to rise. However, to maintain the same level of
competitiveness to survive the intense competition, and to seize new opportunities
for steady growth, entrepreneurial orientation remains as a high priority. Established
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companies have more of the discipline required to execute a strategy and bring a
product to market (Freeman & Engel, 2007).
At the maturity stage, the company has already established its position in the market
and industry. There is a high demand for human resource management to maintain
the operation of the company due to the increased size and expansion of business.
On the other hand, companies turn to move away from entrepreneurial focus, as the
need for survival is relatively lower compare to the start-up and growth stage, and
the opportunity cost of pursuing a risky project may exceed the gain. Thus,
maintaining the status quo through human resource management practices becomes
the main focus for organisations at this stage. There is a growing consensus that
established companies must nurture entrepreneurial activity throughout their
operations to continue to compete successfully (Schmelter, et al., 2010). Due to the
above strains, corporate venturing becomes the favourable choice for organisations
in this stage of development in their search for corporate entrepreneurship.
The last dimension of this model is the decline stage. Theoretically, this is not a
desirable state for any organisations. However, as technology advances, the
economic environment starts to change more rapidly. Organisations that are too slow
to respond to the environmental changes will fall behind the competition, and most
likely fail to survive. To adapt the changes both internally and externally,
organisations are required to be flexible and responsive, which can be achieved by
maintaining an entrepreneurial orientation. At the same time, human resource
management is needed to ensure that the change procedure can be executed
smoothly. Thus, this dimension does not necessarily present organisations that have
low demand on entrepreneurship and human resource management. It is a stage
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where organisations who lacks competency on both entrepreneurship and human
resource management would fall into, making them less likely to survive.
The characteristics of organisations in this category are closely linked to the strategic
renewal aspect of corporate entrepreneurship. As discussed before, strategic
renewal involves the transformation of organisation by redefining its purpose,
position and realistic goals. This may help organisations re-evaluate the
competencies it has, reconfigure the structure to adapt environmental changes and
reacquire competitive advantages for re-growth.
3.3 Implications of the Framework
From a theoretical perspective, instead of focusing on the linkages between specific
human resource management practices and various aspects of corporate
entrepreneurship, this model identifies and incorporates the temporal aspect of
organisations’ life cycle into the interaction of human resource management and
corporate entrepreneurship. This model recognises that organisations possess
different competencies and the ability to develop certain competitive advantages in
each stage of their life cycles. These have crucial impact on firms’ needs of
entrepreneurial or human resource management competencies, and limit their
choices in terms of the practices they can employ. The acknowledgement of this
effect
provides
guidelines
to
further
link
different
aspects
of
corporate
entrepreneurship and human resource management practices to the development
stage of an organisation.
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This also adds to the studies that identified the effects of industrial environment has
on firms corporate entrepreneurship and human resource management practices,
and suggests that in relation to the size of the organisation and the industry they
operate in, the pursuit and implementation of corporate entrepreneurship varies for
different organisations as well. Innovation and internal venturing are common
corporate entrepreneurship practices among start-ups as well as established small
and medium-sized enterprises in knowledge intense industries. External venturing
and strategic renewal are more associated with mature organisations, multinational
enterprises and firms in traditional industries. In combination, this clarifies the
underlining factors that affect firm’s choice of human resource management
practices and corporate entrepreneurship needs.
These characteristics of the model also provide practical implications for human
resource management managers. By linking different stages of development and
characteristic of the firm to the associated corporate entrepreneurship aspects, the
model can help human resource management mangers decide which human
resource management practices can most effectively accommodate the specific
entrepreneurial needs of the firm. Furthermore, the review recognised that human
resource management’s influence on corporate entrepreneurship is not confined by
human resource management practices, but also its contribution to building
entrepreneurial organisational culture and supportive environments. Thus in addition
to the routine human resource management functions, practitioners should also pay
attention to the influence of human resource management upon culture and
behaviour.
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It is important to note that this model does not suggest entrepreneurship and human
resource management as two conflicting interests. Rather, they are arranged in a
way to present the value of each variable in different stages of organisation’s
development. As discussed in the literature review, they share a mutual relationship
and could be utilised to accommodate each other depending on the demand of the
organisation.
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Chapter 4. Conclusion
The main purpose of this report is to examine the relationship between corporate
entrepreneurship and human resource management, identify the interactions, and
develop a new model to fill in some gaps in current literature and provide guidelines
for future research.
Many scholars have pointed out the importance of corporate entrepreneurship as a
mean to acquire competitive advantages for the survival of organisations in the
rapidly changing and evolving economic dynamic (J. O. Covin & Miles, 1999; Ireland,
et al., 2009; Zahra, Korri, & JiFeng, 2005). Human resource management has been
identified to be an important influential element in firm’s pursuit of corporate
entrepreneurship, and there are considerable amount of theoretical and empirical
support for this argument in the current literature which addresses the linkages
between various human resource management practices and their impact of different
aspects of corporate entrepreneurship (Hayton, 2005; Jack, et al., 2006; Kaya, 2006;
Schmelter, et al., 2010; Tocher & Rutherford, 2009). Although the fields of corporate
entrepreneurship and human resource management studies are well developed as
separate topics for decades, the current research and literature focused on the
interactions of corporate entrepreneurship and human resource management have
only progressed through the infantry stage and started to establish theoretical
foundations and explore practical implications. In an effort to further explore the field,
this review has drawn on current literature in regard to the relationship between
corporate entrepreneurship and human resource management to highlight some of
the important influences human resource management has on corporate
entrepreneurship performance.
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In addition, by analysing Hayton’s conceptual framework for the relationship between
human resource management and corporate entrepreneurship, some gaps in the
current studies have been identified, and a new model has been developed which
incorporates the temporal aspect of organisation’s life cycle into the interactions
between corporate entrepreneurship and human resource management to enhance
the knowledge on the impact of human resource management on different aspects of
corporate entrepreneurship through different development stages of an organisation.
4.1 Future Research Direction
Although there are solid theoretical evidence that supports the argument made and
frameworks developed regarding to corporate entrepreneurship and human resource
management interactions in the current literature, in the real world, organisations in
different industries may find it hard to adopt such model, as there are too many
contextual variables. To ensure that these frameworks can provide sufficient
practical implications, there is a need for more thorough empirical research to be
done.
The first issue that future empirical research should explore is to establish cross
border, cross industry studies to examine whether or not the current findings and
consensus in the field of studies are consistent with empirical results. The main
focus should be the effectiveness of human resource management practices on
firms’ entrepreneurial performances to assess the applicability of current theories.
Secondly, longitudinal studies should be conducted to evaluate whether or not the
development stages proposed in the temporal model fits organisations life cycle in
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the real world. This is to ensure that the assumptions made by the model can be
applied to practical situations, thus enhance its implications.
Cross cultural studies on firm behaviours and human resource management
practices are also required to examine cultural impacts. As several studies have
suggested, that a high level of individualism and short power distance can greatly
promote creativity, innovation and, while a high level of collectivism and long power
distance limits the potential of entrepreneurial behaviour (Lassen & Nielsen, 2009;
Morris & Jones, 1993; Naman & Slevin, 1993; Zahra, et al., 2004). More empirical
research can provide practical evidence for such argument and enrich our
knowledge base in regard to cultural influences.
Last but not least, the aspect of strategic renewal needs to be studied, both
conceptually and empirically. Most current literature tends to ignore this issue in
there discussion due to:
1. There is a great ambiguity around the definition and reorganisation of strategic
renewal. Many studies on this topic often categorise it to a type of venturing, thus
overlooks the unique characteristics and attribution of this phenomenon;
2. There are not enough empirical studies to draw upon, as strategic renewal has a
low possibility of occurrence, and cannot be easily identified. Thus, there is a great
difficulty in conducting research, due to the amount of time and effort needed to
collect sufficient samples.
Despite these constrains, strategic renewal needs to be empirically examined as
many have considered it as one of the most effective approaches to obtain
sustainable advantage in regards to corporate entrepreneurship, especially on
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autonomy, innovativeness, pro-activeness, competitive aggressiveness and risk
tolerance (Dess & Lumpkin, 2005). Thus, it is essential for us to accumulate more
information and develop further understanding about this issue.
The research field in the interaction of corporate entrepreneurship and human
resource management is still young. Most of the current research is highly
conceptual, and empirical studies carried out in the recent years are mostly
conducted in the US, and focused on operational human resource management
practices. As identified by this review, it is important to connect effective human
resource management practices to related corporate entrepreneurship performances,
it is also important to take other factors such as culture and life cycle into
consideration, as these can directly or indirectly influences the impact human
resource management has on corporate entrepreneurship. Upcoming literature has
also linked organisational learning and knowledge management to corporate
entrepreneurship (Crossan & Bedrow, 2003; Kontoghiorghes, Awbre, & Feurig, 2005;
Ng, 2004). These constructs can also be affected by firms’ human resource
management practices, adding more complexity to the current study of corporate
entrepreneurship and human resource management relationship. Future studies
should pay attention to consult and link relevant literature in these related fields.
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Reflective Journal
The past fourteen weeks has been an incredible journey for me. I have heard a lot
about the challenging nature of this research paper long before I enrolled. As a
business graduate, I was fairly certain when I started this paper that the skills and
competencies I have acquired through my academic studies were enough to help me
pass. However, what I have experienced in this semester is much more than I
anticipated. The construction of the research report is not only difficult and
challenging, but also highly stimulating.
The first task is to choose my research topic. I have been told that picking a popular
and easy topic can greatly reduce the effort required to finish the report, as we
already have certain amount of knowledge about the topic, and there are a lot of
resources we can refer to. However, I prefer to do something different and fresh,
rather than repeating what others have done before. After some initial research, I
decided to write about the interactions between corporate entrepreneurship and
human resource management, a field that is relatively new and very challenging, and
it’s about entrepreneurship, a fascinating topic that I’m very interested in.
The second stage of this report involves intensive research. The process is quite
time consuming, as building up strong arguments and quality analysis requires a
substantial amount of theoretical and empirical support. This is especially
challenging for me, as my research topic is not well developed yet, there’s not as
much resource available to my specific study, and there are only a handful of
scholars who had been working on this topic. Thus, I spent a lot time on researching
each variable as a single topic, trying to find linkages or consensus that I could draw
upon. I’m fortunate to have my supervisor, Dr. Kaye Thorn, and my colleagues who
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have helped me clarify my research focus, and provided me some useful resources.
I have to express my gratitude to them, for their support through this long and difficult
process.
The next part is the actual writing of the report. This process is split into three stages:
introduction and designing the report structure; writing literature review; the
development of my own conceptual model. I have always enjoyed the creative and
critical thinking part of doing any task. Thus, I’m very motivated to develop my own
framework, and find it quite fulfilling to construct the assumptions and justifications
for my argument. I have to thank Dr. Thorn again, for her inspiration on adding the
temporal aspect to the discussion, this is crucial to the successful development of my
model. However, the literature review part to me was not as stimulating. I have taken
out the parts I found useful from each article while doing the research, and planned
to reorganise them and link them together to form my literature review. The actual
task is much more difficult and time consuming than I expected.
It is quite an accomplishment for me to finish this project. It has not only tested my
academic competencies for carrying out research and constructing quality report, but
also challenged my time management skills, as I have to balance between this report
and the other paper I was doing this semester. My plan to return to my home country
after graduation put additional stress on me too, due to the many personal and family
issues that need to be settled before I leave the country. In all, this paper is by far
the most useful course I had taken. It challenged me on many aspects, and the skills
and experience I developed and enhanced through this journey will become
invaluable assets for me to carry on in the future, wherever it may lead. For this, I am
grateful and fulfilled.
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