An assessment of corporate entrepreneurship in the risk and insurance sector
Wiese, Jacques Wynand
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This study aims to examine corporate entrepreneurship within the risk and insurance industry, with specific reference to Marsh South Africa. An overview of Marsh South Africa is given with specific focus on the history, company structure and operating environment of the organisation. The factors that emphasises the need for corporate entrepreneurship within the risk and insurance industry is the growing demand for solutions that break the cycle of annual insurance renewals, the emergence of new exposures, and the approach taken by firms to analyse risk on a more comprehensive basis. In general the changing operating environment and the fact that Marsh operates in a regulated environment highlights the importance and need for corporate entrepreneurial strategies. The literature review defines entrepreneurship and specifically corporate entrepreneurship with particular focus on the various dimensions and determinants of corporate entrepreneurship and the crucial role that innovation plays. The core of the literature review and study in general focuses on the thirteen entrepreneurial constructs that constitutes the entrepreneurial climate and assesses an additional construct which is the perceived success of the organisation. The success of a company's entrepreneurial activity is reliant on the entrepreneurial climate that is present within the company. In this study, respondents indicates that a strong customer orientation, entrepreneurial leadership and a flat organisational structure are the most important constructs that constitute an entrepreneurial climate, which gives an indication that the company understands its clients and their needs. Resource availability and accessibility, innovation and creativity and tolerance for risks, mistakes and failure is ranked the lowest of all the constructs, indicating that certain aspects of the company's entrepreneurial climate need attention. Constructs measuring the perceived success of the organisation indicates that customer/market measures as well as process and financial measures plays a significant role. The future long-term success of the organisation and people development however requires more consideration. The study further assess any statistical significant differences between the gender, race and level of employment of the employees in relation to the entrepreneurial climate and perceived success of the organisation constructs and finds that no specific significant statistical differences exist. Several recommendations are made in order to improve the entrepreneurial climate at the organisation as it will contribute to the creation of increased organisational commitment and the future economic performance of the organisation.