Differentiated competency profiles for lead entrepreneurs in different business contexts
Wilmans, William Henry Emile
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Entrepreneurs are perceived to have a significant effect on a country's economy by the establishment of new ventures that provide not only products to customers, but also job opportunities in various industries. Therefore entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship have become a critical solution to the low economic growth, high level of poverty and the high level of unemployment in South Africa. However there is a significant shortage of entrepreneurs in South Africa - in particular high-growth start-up entrepreneurs. Various researchers and authors highlight similar (but not identical) entrepreneurial variables and processes, as well as the interactions of these variables and processes with the various competency profiles of the lead entrepreneur. The Timmons model and the Wickham model emphasise an integrated, holistic and appropriate fit and balance between the various entrepreneurial variables (including the situation-specific entrepreneurial competencies or differentiated competency profiles for lead entrepreneurs). Chapter two discusses the current entrepreneur and entrepreneurship related issues such as the definitions and concepts regarding entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurial process, certain relevant myths, the entrepreneur and the entrepreneurial competencies; and especially that there does not exist only one profile of entrepreneurial competencies that fits all types of industries. All this emphasised the need for differentiated competency profiles to enable the particular optimal entrepreneurial mix for different business contexts such as the specific type of business industry. The third chapter reports on the research methodology and the results of the data gathered in the survey research process. The internationally validated and user friendly Human Job Analyses (HJA) questionnaire from Thomas International™ was used to collect the entrepreneurial competency data cluster into the four well known competency clusters Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance - also known as DISC. The HJA was conducted in certain pre-selected business industries to collect this exploratory study's research data. The sample characteristics and related descriptive statistics were analysed and briefly discussed. Although the most descriptive statistics indicated interesting results, the most important statistics are the median related statistics, because of the unlikelihood of these samples being normally distributed. Because of the sample limitations, only non-parametric tests applied. The Kruskai-Wallis Rank Test and the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test were therefore used for the inferential statistical analyses. Due to the similarity in results that both test statistics had with each other, the Wilcoxon was not repeated for the analyses of the individual entrepreneurial competencies. Certain entrepreneurial competency clusters, as well as certain individual entrepreneurial competencies, showed no significant differences in their median rankings; others that do, have significant differences in their median rankings, which compare with the literature study's sources that emphasise that there is not one entrepreneurial profile that fits all. The most important conclusions that could be drawn within the context of the above mentioned limitations includes that the Dominance cluster of entrepreneurial competencies showed no statistical significant difference across the different business industry samples. From that may be concluded that the particular three industry samples (Real Estate, Accommodation and Restaurant) all regarded more or less equally important to very important for lead entrepreneurs in the particular three industries. On the other hand a significant difference in importance was found across the different business industries for the other three entrepreneurial competency clusters. The most important conclusion that can be drawn from that is again that there is no one entrepreneurial profile that fit all lead entrepreneur across different types of business industries. It can thus be concluded, at least regarding this study's industry samples, that there may be a part of the entrepreneurial competency profile that is similar for all three industries surveyed, but that a significant part of the entrepreneurial profile (three of the four competency clusters in this study's case) has a statistically significant different entrepreneurial competency profile. These conclusions support the researcher's initial reason for this exploratory study and should be followed up with further research projects using representative random samples.
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