An assessment of the entrepreneurial orientation of pharmacists in Gauteng
De Nobrega, Clarice
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Pharmacy in South Africa changed dramatically the past decade. Legislative changes include the amendment of The Pharmacy Act in 2003 allowing for non-pharmacists to own pharmacies. This opened the door for national chain stores to change their business model by including a dispensary in their retail service offerings. The regulation of medicine prices impacted the profitability of the pharmacy industry. This caused a double edge sword to retail pharmacy – not only do they need to compete with national supermarkets on front shop products, their products, namely scheduled medication also are regulated in dispensaries. In an environment of rapid change and shortened product and business model life-cycles, the future profit streams from existing operations are uncertain. Businesses need to consistently seek out new opportunities and therefore firms may benefit from adopting an entrepreneurial orientation. Entrepreneurial orientation of retail pharmacists operating in corporate and independent pharmacies’ might play a role in survival of pharmacy business as a professional services provider for which a fee may be charged. The entrepreneurial orientation of retail pharmacists in independent and corporate pharmacies is explored. A literature study on the field of Entrepreneurship is conducted. The term entrepreneurial orientation, consisting of five constructs, namely autonomy, innovation, pro-activeness, risk-taking and competitive aggressiveness is defined. Perceived success of the industry is defined in terms of growth and development. An entrepreneurial orientation questionnaire was distributed among retail pharmacists operating in corporate and independent environments. Both ratings of the constructs and their evaluation of the perceived success of the industry has been measured, analysed and reported. The results obtained from the questionnaire and the in-depth interviews in conjunction with the literature review are used to draw conclusions and make recommendations.