The Entrepreneurial Approach

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Working with the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), ACCA looked at the psychological and management practices behind the encouragement, by corporates, on the entrepreneurial approach. The research encompassed corporate cultural guidelines in both young and established organisations.

The introduction of the entrepreneurial approach resulted in organisations showing sustainable growth across all markets. Encouraging employees to think like entrepreneurs through corporate culture guidelines has shown effective results. The report established that younger companies tend to focus on encouraging their employees to think like entrepreneurs. In established businesses, the focus is on a mix of entrepreneurial skills and traditional management skills.

The report titled Culture and Channelling Corporate Behaviour, reiterates the importance for organisations to consider the benefits of the entrepreneurial approach as a sustainable model. Entrepreneurs have a deep sense of purpose and understanding. The unique factor of any entrepreneur is his/her ability to think beyond the constraints of the corporate environment. The concept of 9-5 becomes irrelevant and attendance is replaced with performance monitoring. Entrepreneurs tend have a higher success rate.  Technically as long as the work is done according to standard the rest is left up to discussion. Entrepreneurs do not keep office hours, simply because ideas and inspiration, the two main driving forces beyond entrepreneurship, are unpredictable.

Companies need to ensure that whilst encouraging employees to be entrepreneurial, sound governance systems are put into place to monitor abuse. It is important to point out that encouraging the entrepreneurial approach to business, shifts the focus to personal value sets of each “entrepreneur”. Successful companies position incentives in such a way that they adhere to the corporate culture of the organisation and encourage sound personal values.

Further Companies would need to determine if their organisation is solely profit-oriented. If this is the case, should entrepreneurs do whatever is required to get the maximum profit, even if it means being unethical? The report suggests that the intrinsic motivation of an individual far outweigh any extrinsic factors. Extrinsic factors will generally be de-motivational. The report suggests that individuals are loyal to the following three factors: mastery of one’s subject, autonomy and psychological relatedness of their values.

At the South African ACCA Student and Affiliate Day, Louise Mowbray, personal branding specialist, reiterated this by saying, “It is important that one’s personal values be aligned with the Company’s ethical and moral guideline. Potential employees should not try and align force company values to align with their value set. This could result in potential internal conflict and misunderstanding within the corporate culture.

The implications that go with this approach need to be carefully monitored to ensure that individuals that have been tasked with a duty adhere to the policies and guidelines of the company. Entrepreneurs are synonymous with risk-taking; they are expected to get maximum results with limited resources. The expectations by the organisations need to be properly outlined so the consequences of misperceptions are avoided.

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