An assessment of corporate entrepreneurship in the telecommunications sector
Motlhasedi, Simon Molatodi
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The background in which global organisations operate in at present is very competitive. In an ever faster growing global economy the role of the entrepreneur within the large organisation becomes more and more important to ensure the company keeps the competitive edge. The Linde Group is a world class company with a world class management strategy and systems to support the strategy. Part of the The Linde Group management strategy is being a high performing organisation, wanting to give all employees the opportunity to contribute to improvement by sharing their ideas with the company. This study was done at African Oxygen Limited, South Africa, a regional business unit in Africa for The Linde Group. African Oxygen Limited embarked on various programmes to create opportunities for employees to think in an entrepreneurial way. Middle managers at African Oxygen Limited play an important role in the innovation programs implemented at African Oxygen Limited. Against this background, this study seeks to confirm whether African Oxygen Limited, South Africa has a true entrepreneurial climate and whether the middle management level involved with these initiatives share this perception. Corporate entrepreneurship is characterised by people who are innovative, creative, spend time and take risks. To support these entrepreneurial activities, the organisation needs a climate and culture that is beneficial to these activities. An entrepreneurial orientation within an organisation is marked by dimensions such as innovativeness, pro–activeness, risk–taking, competitive aggressiveness and autonomy. The entrepreneurial behaviour among middle level managers is most critical to the effective implementation of corporate entrepreneurship. The primary objective of this study was to assess the entrepreneurial climate in African Oxygen Limited and to make recommendations to foster corporate entrepreneurship within the organisation. The literature review was instrumental to gather secondary data on corporate entrepreneurship and to understand its dynamics. In order to gain primary data, quantitative research was carried out. The study population comprised lower and middle management, who were requested to complete questionnaires. This was followed by statistical analysis. The empirical results indicate no practical significance in respondents' perception based on the gender of the respondents. However, the results do indicate practical significant differences between the relationship between the groups of middle and lower management level with respect to entrepreneurial climate and the perceived organisational success. An evaluation of the corporate entrepreneurial climate in the organisation was performed and the average mean for the study calculated. Seven out of 13 constructs evaluated had a mean above the average mean of x = 3.502, the other six constructs evaluated had a mean ranked lower than the average mean. All of the constructs still had a mean above three out of five. All four of the used variables measuring the perceived organisational success, were reported by respondents to have a mean above three which is the neutral point. The average mean of the perceived success of the organisation was 3.688. It was clear that the constructs for perceived organisational success had a fairly strong presence, but there is still room for improvement. With reference to the entrepreneurial climate within Afrox the conclusion is that it is not optimally entrepreneurial and initiatives put into practice that should encourage entrepreneurial behaviour, are falling short. The study concludes with practical recommendations on assessment of the achievement of objectives and suggestions for future research.
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