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Entrepreneurial Behaviour

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Entrepreneurial behaviour is the actions taken by the entrepreneur to reach desired goals. Entrepreneurial behaviour is restricted to tasks that are or can be under the control of the entrepreneur, such as the role of the board, organisation, decision making, and goals and strategies.


Introduction 

Entrepreneurs’ behaviour is a key construct in understanding how entrepreneurs create new organisations. Entrepreneurial behaviour is the actions taken by the entrepreneur to reach desired goals. Entrepreneurial behaviour is restricted to tasks that are or can be under the control of the entrepreneur, such as the role of the board, organisation, decision making, and goals and strategies.

The basic argument is that an understanding of entrepreneurial behaviour is better understood by examination of behaviours that are under the control of the entrepreneur. Only when we understand the determinants of entrepreneurial performance can we link entrepreneurial behaviour to business performance.

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Differently stated, we have to know what an entrepreneur does and why and how these actions affect business performance. Entrepreneurial performance is determined by the environment and the individual capacity and will (i.e., ability and motivation) to deal with the environment (organisational design and context).

The entrepreneur is assumed to act on the environment in accordance with his or her goals. The actual performance of the entrepreneur is difficult to measure and is often confounded with the business performance in empirical tests, but it is important to note that the two are not always the same.


Nature of Entrepreneurial Behaviour

1. They Plan their Day in Advance:

In business, it’s easy to let other people’s priorities run your day. Phone calls, emails, appointments, meetings – it never ends. Unstoppable entrepreneurs plan their day in advance, before the mayhem begins. But they don’t just make any old plan – they make sure to block out time for their most important priorities.

2. They Get Proper Nutrition and Exercise:

This simply can’t be overstated. Being a productive, unstoppable entrepreneur is about your body just as much as your mind and will. If you don’t take care of your nutrition and daily exercise, you aren’t going to be at your best – and you definitely won’t be unstoppable. Drink a lot of water, eat breakfast and get your body moving. You’ll be much more successful as a result.

3. They Position Themselves to Serve:

Those who focus only on their own success are the ones who don’t succeed at all. To be effective as a business owner, you need to serve your customers. That might come through in the way your products make their lives easier or the way your customer service efforts delight them. Whatever the case may be, setting service as one of your top priorities is a surefire way to become unstoppable.

4. They Set Clear Goals:

Every unstoppable entrepreneur has clear goals. Knowing your goals will keep you going when things get tough and give you something to focus on when you’re not sure what to do next.

But your goals shouldn’t just focus on the long term. Have long-term, mid-term and short-term goals. Doing so allows you to plan your days and weeks with unmatched focus, knowing exactly what you’re shooting for.

5. They Take Calculated Risks:

People have an image of entrepreneurs as those who take crazy risks just for fun. But while the risks we take may be crazy to those without an entrepreneurial mind, in reality, they’re calculated. Or, at least, they should be. If you’re the type of business owner who jumps in without knowing the numbers and probabilities behind your course of action, you won’t last long.

6. They Know their Strengths and Weaknesses:

Successful business owners are honest with themselves. They know their own strengths and weaknesses, and take them into account with every business decision. It takes humility to really examine yourself this way, but it will pay great dividends when you know exactly who to hire, who to partner with and what skills you can offer.

7. They Hire A-Team Players:

Entrepreneurs that don’t succeed are often those who are afraid to have A-team players on their staff. They either feel threatened or they won’t offer the incentives needed to hire the best. Either way, they lose. To be an unstoppable entrepreneur, you’ve got to hire the best. Focus on those who fill in whatever gaps you currently have. Doing so will help you create the amazing team that’s needed for success.

8. They are Constantly Learning:

Unstoppable entrepreneurs know that they don’t know it all. As a result, they never stop learning. Never get so busy that you stop investing in yourself and your knowledge of business, your industry and new technology. Staying up to date is essential if you want to succeed.

9. They are Always Looking for Opportunities:

Entrepreneurs who are really successful don’t rest on their current successes. They realise that life changes quickly, and that business moves at an even faster pace. To be unstoppable, always be on the lookout for your next opportunity. Spot new trends in your industry, or look for a new application of an old tool. You’ll never get stuck in the old when you make it a priority to watch out for the new.

10. They Evaluate their Actions and Priorities Each Day:

Successful entrepreneurs know that with every day, they’re building their futures. That’s why they rarely let one go by without doing a review. When you review your accomplishments at the end of each day, you’ll be able to celebrate the successes, as well as address the shortfalls. It’s a great practice to begin right away.


Characteristics of Entrepreneurial Behaviour

The characteristics of entrepreneurial behaviour are as follows:

1. Unafraid of Failure:

There is no better teacher than failure, and a common trait among entrepreneurs is that they are uncommonly unafraid to “learn” aka, fail.

Risk takers learn things that those who like to colour inside the lines don’t. Notably, they learn how to pick themselves back up when they stumble; a valuable trait for anyone to have, but especially important for entrepreneurs. Starting and running a small business is tough and no matter how much research you do beforehand, you’ll eventually come to a point where the only way to see if your business dream will work is to jump in and find out.

2. Happy to Work Hard:

When you start a business, you can proudly tell your buddies that you’re the founder and CEO. That’s the upside. The downside is, you’ll also get to tell them you’re the head of maintenance, accountant, CMO, legal counsel, security chief, HR director, payroll manager, conflict resolution specialist, secretary and in some cases, mom or dad. Running a business is a lot of hard work. However, if you’re working hard at something you love, to carve out the kind of life you want to lead, does it really seem like work?

3. Brave:

Entrepreneurs will be forced to stand up for themselves against a lot of bullies. Banks, government officials, rivals and lawyers will all try to push you around and tell you what you can and cannot do. If you’re afraid of them and their tough talk, you may end up folding up shop and running, or never setting up shop in the first place.

True, an entrepreneur will seek counsel and learn applicable laws and regulations. After all, there is a difference between taking risks and breaking laws. And there is a difference between bending to the conservative advice of others and fighting for your beliefs. All of the entrepreneurs that I’ve ever known aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in.

4. Lifelong Learner:

Many entrepreneurs do what they know. They feel they can do it better than it’s ever been done before, so they set out to prove to the world they can. But it’s not the work they know that makes being an entrepreneur difficult. It’s the work they must learn to make the business survive. Stuff like having to learn payroll, navigate IRS business forms, and pick up on accounting basics, and HR and taxes and on and on it goes, until the weight of all this new, diverse learning can be overwhelming.

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Some people hear that they’ll be in charge of all of this, and they run screaming in the other direction. Some hear they’ll be in charge of this and they can’t wait to give it a try. Entrepreneurs learn a lot of things out of necessity, organise their time well, and find connections between it all.


Key Entrepreneurial Behaviours

The key entrepreneurial behaviours include the following:

1. The Desire to Win and Succeed Coupled with Vision:

Entrepreneurs want to succeed. They are goal-oriented and focus their attention and energy on the achievement of specific goals. Many business people go to business without clear goals and therefore they fail to succeed as entrepreneurs. In her book, Change Masters, Rosabeth Moss Kanter (1993) cites visionaries who led companies out of problems. She cites cases of General Electrics, IBM, as institutions where the entrepreneurial spirit either made or unmade these giant companies.

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Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computer, founded the computer at the age of 21. Prahalad and Gamel, (1994) talk of successful companies that rest on the creativity of visionaries whose entrepreneurial spirit led to the success of various companies. Kinyanjui (1993) in her study found that market opportunity. Desire for independence and income generation constituted over 60 percent of reasons why small enterprises were formed in Kenya. These are typical entrepreneurial characteristics.

2. Entrepreneurship therefore has been a leading factor in the success of many businesses both large and small:

The small scale enterprises are much more numerous than the large ones and the tendency has been to believe that they are automatically entrepreneurial. However this is not the case as the growth of these businesses would have been taken for granted. Small businesses are established for various reasons. Some are income, others grow big and others are forced. Not all these are entrepreneurial characteristics. This is a limitation for small business success.

3. A Need for Achievement:

Related to the need to win is the need to achieve. McClelland (1961) argues that successful entrepreneurs are characterised by a strong need for achievement and that drives them to achieve. This drive makes them creative and enables them to take risks. What else does a business require? Goals to achieve, the desire to achieve them, the intensity of purpose and the drive to do what it takes to achieve the goal.

4. They Love Change:

Entrepreneurship is a continuous search for change and a continuous exploitation of the change as an opportunity. Entrepreneurs are thrilled by anything known and frustrated by a slackness of things. In today’s changing environment, with ups and downs that characterise the business environment, the only organisation sure to survive is the one that is entrepreneurial. The one that loves change. There is evidence that the success of Microsoft, Toyota, British Airways, is a result of their ability to cause change themselves. And the failure of many companies is a result of their inability to keep up with the change.

5. They are the Creative Type:

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Creativity is the generation of ideas and precedes innovation. Innovation is a specific function of an entrepreneur. Innovation is something new or different. To be able to adjust to change or manage change, business must continuously come up with new ideas, new products and new processes. These can only come from creative people. Entrepreneurs come with ideas as a result of changing needs and changing environmental factors and translate these ideas to create wealth.

6. Risk Taking:

While entrepreneurs are not high risk takers, they do take risks. And risk is the source of reward. Business reward. Entrepreneurs take risks and succeed. Risk involves looking into the future and believing that there is a probability of the occurrence of certain events. And on this basis a decision is taken to do or not to do something.

In several studies that have been undertaken, there has been evidence that there is a relationship between entrepreneurship behaviour and business growth. Mutazindwa (1997) surveyed over 100 small scale enterprises in different areas of business, metal, textile, trade, carpentry and motor repair and established that there was a relationship between entrepreneurship and business growth. Amongst the key entrepreneurship behaviour patterns, she noted a positive relationship between successful enterprises and vision, risk taking and the need for achievement.

She came to the conclusion that entrepreneurship behaviour existed amongst successful companies but also further that it was not a panacea for business success. Sewannyana (1997) in his study finds that amongst the small proprietors, who were the subject of his study, the entrepreneurship behaviour is exhibited in the majority of proprietors. Unlike earlier thinking, he comes to the conclusion that the poor performance of small business is attributed to factors other than entrepreneurship, mainly bad financial management.

These findings tend to conclude that entrepreneurial behaviour exists in many small firms but despite that they are not successful. Further research in this area is necessary.


Types of Entrepreneurial Behaviour

Organisational behaviour is concerned with the understanding, prediction and control of human behaviour in any organisation. It is the study and application of knowledge about how people act within an organisation.

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It seeks to shed light on the human factor and the study of integrated behaviour like psychology, sociology and anthropology for the study of human behaviour in and around organisation.

Organisational behaviour involves two levels of analysis of behaviour:

1. Individual Behaviour:

Every individual is different from others. They are differing in physical characteristics, intelligence, aptitudes, attitudes, personality, and skills eta. All these skills help an individual to interact with other fellow members in an organisation. Various factors which influence the behaviour of individuals are ability, perception, motivation, organisational factors, socio-cultural factors etc.

2. Group Behaviour:

A group consists of two or more persons who interact with each other, consciously for the achievement of certain common objectives. Every job in the organisation is interdependent and every task requires the cooperation from all the members in order to excel in the organisation. Various factors which affect the group cohesiveness are nature, size, location, communication, status of the groups etc.


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