An assessment of corporate entrepreneurship in the personal protective equipment industry
Since the early 1990s entrepreneurship education has experienced a significant interest and growth in South Africa, due to the fact that it plays a very important part in the success of businesses, whether it is a new or an existing business venture. Corporate entrepreneurship can be defined as the development of new ideas and opportunities within a large organisation and is characterized by individuals who are energetic, creative, innovative, self-confident and take calculated risks. When looking at the entrepreneurial orientation variables, Autonomy, Innovativeness, Risk-taking, Pro-Activeness and Competitive aggressiveness in any organisation, they require an acceptable climate to ensure that each dimension prosper. The line, middle and senior managers play an important role in entrepreneurial actions, whether it is part of creating the climate or driving the process once initiated. Entrepreneurial success factors such as creativity, innovation, risk orientation, leadership, good human relations, a positive attitude and perseverance, are all attributes of successful entrepreneurs. The primary research focus of this study has been to investigate the influence of entrepreneurial orientation variables (Autonomy, Innovativeness, Risk-taking, Pro- Activeness and Competitive aggressiveness) on the perceived success in a personal protective equipment organisation in South Africa. For the purpose of this study, the business success has been measured by means of two dependent variables namely Business growth and Business development and improvement. An empirical study has been conducted by using a questionnaire that measured five dimensions regarding entrepreneurial orientation. Data from 42 participants have been collected and analysed, and the results indicate that the organisation have certain aspects of entrepreneurial orientation present. The results show that the managers in the personal protective equipment business perceived that the entrepreneurial orientation variable Innovativeness have a positive influence on their Business Growth. An important relationship between the independent variable Innovativeness and the dependent variable Business development and improvement has been found to exist. Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial orientation are more than just vibrant words in the industry; they play important roles in the survival and growth of organisations. It is also crucial to understand that the correct climate needs to be fostered within the organisation to ensure that all the various aspects of corporate entrepreneurship are achieved. The organisation will reap greater benefits that could contribute to the business staying the leader in the industry, being more competitive, creating new ventures, and introducing new products and services. The area of significant concern for the organisation is a low or poor tolerance for risk taking. Practical recommendations, suggestions and an action plan are presented in order to improve the entrepreneurial climate of the organisation.