The concept of Corporate Entrepreneurship (CE) is commonly regarded as a set of efficient methods for the generation of competitive advantages, increased financial performance, innovation, and sustainability of business operations (Ackermann & Kern 2013). Nevertheless, researchers argue that it requires the creation of a specific internal environment which can enable organizations to make employees more creative and innovative. CE is related to risks because the attempts to innovate products or services cannot be successful at once. But when management provides a supportive and encouraging environment for CE, the opportunities for the achievement of greater individual and organizational innovativeness increase.
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Considering this, in this paper, we report the results of the study conducted in a selected large UAE organization that is known for its CE efforts and orientation towards innovation in its market segment. The objective of the study is the analysis of the relationships between five factors of the internal organizational environment (management support, work discretion, time availability, organizational boundaries, and reward system) and their influence on the success or failure of CE processes in the selected company. The evaluation of data collected through the use of a valid questionnaire helped to attain a better understanding of CE and practices in the modern international business.
The specific aims of the study include the analysis of areas of performance identified in the recent academic paper by Kuratko, Hornsby, and Covin (2014). Through the evaluation of individual employees’ opinions on these factors which support CE, the given research aims to determine how the internal corporate situation affects entrepreneurial activities and suggest evidence-based recommendations for the improvement of the CE outcomes based on the assessment results.
The term of CE implies the process of developing new business within an organization to achieve greater profitability and productivity, as well as a better competitive position (Lekmat & Chelliah 2014). CE is a systematic renewal of the existing corporate business practices. When a company adopts the entrepreneurial behavior, it attempts to enhance both internal and external-oriented decision-making activities and increase innovativeness (Ackermann & Kern 2013). Some researchers suggest that it is possible for an organization to become more innovative by encouraging employees to take more risks and be more proactive (Jayamohan, McKelvie & Moss 2014).
Overall, innovativeness can be described as the ability to offer new products or services which could be highly demanded. Proactiveness implies a firm’s ability to outperform competitors by launching new services and products faster. Risk taking denotes that a company is not afraid of making mistakes and extraordinary decisions without knowing if they will lead to success. Innovation, proactive and risk-taking behavior are essential elements of CE. Since it is possible to achieve greater innovativeness only through a systematic and strategic approach, and since the success in the organizational CE process depends on a particular way of employees’ behavior, the researchers emphasize the importance of internal corporate culture which is regarded as the primary factor supporting CE endeavors (Lekmat & Chelliah 2014).
CE is especially useful in highly competitive market environments where considerable attention is given to renewal, advancement, and renovation (Lekmat & Chelliah 2014). The internal corporate values and culture motivate companies to become more competitive and help them to hold their position and advantages given by increased innovativeness. The importance of understanding the relationships between factors that support entrepreneurial organizational activities increased the researchers’ interest to the subject. Some researchers have found the factors that strongly influence CE. Along with corporate culture, these factors include work structure, management support, motivation and control systems that impact the internal environment which defines the encouragement and interest to entrepreneurial activities among employees (Lekmat & Chelliah 2014).
Each organization should increase and promote CE among its staff members. First of all, it is possible to achieve greater innovativeness by improving top management’s support of company CE activities, e.g. through the provision of resources or making CE a commonly accepted norm (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014). A well-developed reward system aligned with innovation efforts is necessary as well. According to Kuratko, Hornsby, and Covin (2014), an efficient reinforcement system can promote entrepreneurial behavior by considering goals, feedback, emphasizing individual responsibility, and orienting employees to the achievement of positive results. Good rewards can stimulate employees for taking greater risks without being afraid of failures.
Additionally, the factor of time availability is directly related to employees’ ability to perform innovative activities (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014). The lack of time creates barriers to conduction of experiments which are necessary for CE. The fourth factor of organizational boundaries refers to work structures which show how employees’ ideas and actions are evaluated and implemented (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014). Finally, the factor of work discretion demonstrates the willingness of employees to take risks and the overall organizational encouragement and approval of such behavior (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014). This study evaluates all five factors identified by the researchers in one international company located in the UAE and tries to find links between them and the firm’s entrepreneurial activity.
The company participated in the study is DP World. It is a large international corporation which operates the biggest maritime global ports and provides logistics services. Its UAE corporate branch is located in Dubai. It includes the container terminals, the freight stations, and the port that serves different world markets. The organization occupies a vast territory and employs many staff members who accomplish distinct managerial, operational, administrative, planning, and other tasks.
Operating one of the largest maritime ports in the Middle East region, DP World plays an important role in the UAE economy. Moreover, in the 21st century, the logistics and shipping sector is highly competitive and requires the use of advanced technology and innovative business solutions which help to fulfill customer needs in a better way. Nowadays, the enterprise has one of the leading positions in the global shipping market because it attempts to achieve service improvement, financial efficiency and profitability, and enhancement of technology. It is possible to say that the management recognizes the significance of innovation and entrepreneurial activities because it managed to achieve great results in many areas of performance. The assessment of such aspects of the organizational environment as management support, work discretion, reinforcement system, work scheduling and time availability, as well as organizational boundaries, allows us to understand what factors have influenced the organizational success in the efforts to increase corporate innovation. The identified strengths and weakness of the sample company are represented in the following paragraphs.
The corporate entrepreneurship assessment instrument (CEAI) is implemented in the study. It is a valid tool for the evaluation of internal organizational environment which is regarded by Kuratko, Hornsby, and Covin (2014) as a major factor in the promotion of entrepreneurial activity at different organizational levels. The CEAI is divided into five sections devoted to the specific areas of work organization and includes the total number of 48 questions aimed to capture employees’ perceptions and opinions about them. Each of this questions is estimated on the scale from 1 (Strongly disagree) to 5 (Strongly agree). The test results allowed the understanding of the company’s strengths and the areas which require some improvement.
Sampling and Data Collection
The survey was sent to the organization’s HR Manager, and the CAEI copies were distributed among the total number of 50 randomly selected employees from different DP World’s units. 28 completed surveys were returned. After collecting individual scores, we calculated the average rating for each evaluated section. Then, the average organizational score was determined.
Assessment and Interpretation Results
Management Support for CE
As stated by Kuratko, Hornsby, and Covin (2014), top management support has a direct positive impact on innovative organizational outcomes. Since managers play an important role is facilitating and promoting entrepreneurial behavior, the assessment of employees’ opinions on managers’ supportiveness is crucial for the understanding of what place it takes in the efforts towards innovation increase in the selected enterprise. The test results reveal that the total organizational score in this section is 3.5, the lowest individual score equals 2.3, and the highest identified individual score is 4.6.
Encouragement of experimentation and high level of failure toleration, as well as freedom of decision making at individual and lower organizational levels, demonstrate whether leadership recognizes entrepreneurial opportunities and understands how to achieve increased innovativeness (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014). The study results show that this area of the organizational performance in DP World has an average score of 3.6.
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Rewards and Reinforcement
When corporate reward systems encourage and recognize innovation, employees usually demonstrate better entrepreneurial behavior (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014). In the selected organization, reinforcement has the average score of 3.7. Overall, the individual scores are quite consistent and rarely equal less than 3 scores in total. The scores range from the lowest individual scaled rate of 2.6 to the highest rate of 4.8.
To ensure that employees attempt to be innovative, it is important to provide them with some extra time for this. Management needs to pay greater attention to workloads and schedules because when time and tasks are allocated in a right way, staff members become more able to achieve organizational short-term and long-term objectives (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014). The ‘Time Availability’ section received one of the lowest scores in the sample organization. The overall organizational scaled score is 2.7. It means that the current workloads and schedules significantly challenge entrepreneurial activities in the organization and create bigger barriers to CE success than previously mentioned spheres of performance.
As noted by Kuratko, Hornsby, and Covin (2014), a well-balanced information flow between the external environment and an enterprise, as well as structured communication between organizational departments and units, stimulate the reduction of excess uncertainty levels, develop understanding of organizational goals among different groups of employees, and result in better productive and innovative outcomes. The properly established organizational boundaries help to manage and encourage creative behavior at different operational and administrative levels because they allow ‘the productive use of innovation-enabling resources’ (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014, p. 39). The sum organizational score in the given test section is 2.5. It is the lowest total rate, and it means that most employees do not have a positive view of the established organizational boundaries and are not provided with a chance to perform their duties without following strict regulations and standards.
Table 1: Total Organizational Scores.
|1. Rewards and Reinforcement||3.7|
|2. Work Discretion||3.6|
|3. Management Support||3.5|
|4. Time Availability||2.7|
|5. Organizational Boundaries||2.5|
It is possible to say that the company’s position in the evaluated areas of corporate environment is not strong enough. The highest scores range from 3.5 to 3.7, and they can be regarded as moderate. However, the areas of performance in DP World that are stronger than others are 1) rewards and reinforcement, 2) work discretion and 3) management support. The mean score of 3.7 demonstrates that the organization seems to show financial support for CE and the employees see that their management recognizes their creativity and efforts in innovation. The moderate rates of 3.5 and 3.6 also imply that the company still experiences some challenges in the given areas.
Many researchers claim that rewards for entrepreneurial behavior are directly linked to individual ‘tendencies to behave in entrepreneurial manner’ (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014, p. 39). The highest score of 3.7 for this section means that the organization values employees’ efforts and creativity and attempts to recognize them. Many high individual scores are given in point 34 of the CEAI section, ‘My supervisor will increase my job responsibilities if I am performing well in my job’ (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014, p. 39). Moreover, many study participants reported that their work is challenging. It means that managers stimulate workers by providing them with greater independence and more difficult tasks which require a creative approach.
At the same time, the lowest individual scores can be observed in questions 30 and 31 – ‘My manager helps me get my work done by removing obstacles and roadblocks’ and ‘The rewards I receive are dependent upon my innovation on the job’ (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014, p. 39). The low scores in these units have many implications. First of all, the data indicates that some employees are not stimulated enough to pursue rewards for innovation and prefer to stick to the standard reinforcement principles based on the accomplishment of their regular activities. It can happen due to many reasons. For example, they may not know what type of activities and outcome are additionally rewarded, or there may be some other factors preventing them from being innovative, e.g. time unavailability and excess workload.
It is possible to say that the dependence of individual rewards on innovativeness and managers’ assistance in removing obstacles can be interrelated because when there are many barriers to the successful accomplishment of one’s tasks, a person pays less attention to CE activities and, as a result, gets less recognition and is less rewarded by the organization. Therefore, the company needs to improve some areas in the internal environment and arrange work process, opportunities for innovation, and rewards for a creative approach to the accomplishment of tasks in a way that will enhance entrepreneurial behaviors at both individual and organizational levels.
Work discretion, also commonly called as work autonomy, has a substantial impact on entrepreneurial activities within any company. The researchers claim that work flexibility and independent decision making can influence innovation development in a positive way (Lekmat & Chelliah 2014). On the contrary, when individual autonomy is limited, and a person cannot decide how to do own work, CE is put at risk of failure. Any organization that attempts to adopt the entrepreneurial culture should set a lot of different objectives for its employees and should not force them to follow strict patterns and rules of task accomplishment. Only when individuals are provided with a sufficient level of freedom and independence, they can be interested in what they do.
The study results make it clear that the employees participated in the research are provided with a moderate level of autonomy. The highest individual total score in this section is 4.3, and the lowest is 2.9. Although there are 8 individual average scores equal or greater than 4, the majority of respondents estimated their work discretion with a value close to or below 3. It means that some employees can solve problems in a creative way and try new methods which they regard as effective, but the organization still needs to undergo some changes in work structuring to give more freedom to other employees as well. The particular area of concern in DP World is the criticism for employee mistakes.
Many study participants evaluated point 21 in the section – ‘Harsh criticism and punishment result from mistakes made on the job’ (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014, p. 41) – with 4 and 5. The high scores given to this question indicate that the company may be intolerant towards failures and, as a result, some employees may feel less encouraged to be innovative because when people are more criticized or are afraid of criticism for the methods they apply while doing their job, they try to comply with standards and rules, and do not attempt to think out of the box. Harsh punishment and criticism mean that employees are not provided with enough opportunities to do something on their own, and the presence of low scores given to the questions 23 and 24 devoted to freedom in decision making and autonomous operation support this assumption.
The numbers of positive, neutral, and negative responses that were given by study participants to each question are represented in Table 2 provided below. The results make it clear that despite the observed discrepancies in respondents’ answers, many employees in DP World feel that their work can be sufficiently autonomous and that their creativity is encouraged.
Table 2: The Strongest and the Weakest Areas in the Organizational Work Discretion.
|Strongly Disagree||Disagree||Not Sure||Agree||Strongly Agree|
|20. ‘I feel that I am my own boss and do not have to double check all of my decisions with someone else’.||2||5||5||3||13|
|21. ‘Harsh criticism and punishment result from mistakes made on the job’.||4||7||7||3||7|
|22. ‘This organization provides the chance to be creative and try my own methods of doing the job’.||–||1||10||11||6|
|23. ‘This organization provides the freedom to use my own judgment’.||2||–||9||14||3|
|24. ‘This organization provides the chance to do something that makes use of my abilities’.||4||1||7||12||4|
|25. ‘I have the freedom to decide what I do on my job’.||–||3||10||9||6|
|26. ‘It is basically my own responsibility to decide how my job gets done’.||–||3||8||7||10|
|27. ‘I almost always get to decide what I do on my job’.||1||3||6||11||7|
|28. ‘I have much autonomy on my job and am left on my own to do my own work’.||4||–||5||11||8|
|29. ‘I seldom have to follow the same work methods or steps for doing my major tasks from day to day’ (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014, p. 41).||–||1||10||8||9|
Another relatively secure area in DP World’s internal environment is management support. It is evident that the organizational managers play an important role in CE and, through the interpretation of individual scores, it is possible to say that employees are aware of their managers’ supportive actions. The test results make it clear that the managers’ support is regular and active. It is possible to say that the DP World’s management succeed in promoting innovation among employees and clearly show them that it is a norm that it is expected from each staff member. Therefore, managerial support can be regarded as one of the leading factors that facilitate entrepreneurial activity in the organization as the management recognizes those workers who offer new ideas and provides resources for their implementation.
It is possible to assume that the positive scores in the ‘Management Support’ section, and especially in the sixth point – ‘Those employees who come up with innovative ideas on their own often receive management encouragement for their activities’ (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014, p. 40), indicate that the company has well-developed labour and human relationships. According to Frankovelgia (2010), staff training is one of the key aspects of managerial support as it promotes employees’ independence and increases their motivation. A positive view on managers’ support indicates that the Human Resource (HR) management in DP World is effective. As it is mentioned by Farr and Tran (2008), HR policies and practices including staff development and creation of balance between employees’ needs and organizational interests often play a major role in CE improvement.
A lot of high individual scores were also given to such points in the section as ‘There is considerable desire among people in the organization for generating new ideas’ and ‘People are encouraged to talk to employees in other departments of this organization about ideas for new projects’ (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014, p. 41). It means that knowledge management in the organization is sufficiently developed and managers share their experience with the employees on how to be more innovative. The workers communicate with each other in an efficient manner, and it helps the company to create new ideas and improve innovation. Moreover, when people demonstrate a desire to be innovative and share their thoughts with others, it means that there is trust in the relationships between management and employees. It is possible to say that trust can be considered a vital element of corporate culture which shows that management understands that even if sometimes failures may happen, the outcomes of increased innovation are worth all risks. Therefore, the employees are given with sufficient freedom to experiment. In this way, they become more motivated to innovate.
Financial support is crucial to the success of CE endeavors as well. However, we observed a significant inconsistency among individual scores for such points as ‘Money is often available to get new project ideas off the ground’ or ‘Individuals with successful innovative projects receive additional rewards and compensation beyond the standard reward system’ (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014, p. 41). It means that some employees within the organization are provided with an excellent financial stimulus for being innovative and following the principles of entrepreneurial behavior or simply understand that such stimulus exists, while others do not sense significant financial support from the management. It is possible to say that the reduction of payment always decreases employees’ motivation and satisfaction with own work, but when the workers have a chance to increase personal profit or receive financial support for the realization of exciting and promising ideas, they feel more courage to take risks. Therefore, DP World needs to consider the fact that the provision of financial support to innovative employees is a significant aspect of management support in the organization.
Time availability and organizational boundaries received the lowest scores of 2.7 and 2.5 in the test. The results make it clear that employees have not enough time for doing CE activities in the organization. Most of the study participants showed moderate or strong disagreement on all the points mentioned in this CEAI section. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that employees find it difficult to find extra time for developing new ideas and sharing them with others. The current heavy workloads and ineffective work structuring or allocation of resources prevent employees from participating in innovative activities because they primarily focus on the accomplishment of their routine operational tasks and have no time to reflect on wider organizational problems.
The company selected for the research is a large enterprise with the formal work structure which is regarded as the most efficient form of internal company architecture for performing basic business activities and operations (Aquinas 2009). It is possible that management does not give employees more time for innovation activities because there is a fear of losing control over the situation. In this way, employees mostly spend their time on their regular duties because they surely will be rewarded for them rather than on CE activities for which they have to devote their unpaid personal time.
Although the study made it clear that the management support is relatively high in the organization, the low scores for time availability indicate that these two factors are not necessarily connected. Despite the fact that managers provide employees with knowledge about CE practices and innovation and invest in the realization of new ideas when they find them promising, the managers are less successful in using resources for pushing employees’ innovativeness and risk-taking behaviors to their fullest degree. It means that the organization makes a lot of efforts to promote the value of innovativeness and creativity but does not plan schedules and provides additional resources in a way to encourage all workers to participate in CE.
The section of organizational boundaries with the lowest score of 2.5 creates the most significant barriers to DP World’s CE success. 1.6 is the lowest individual score in this section, and 4.3 is the highest one. Most of the answers are valued on the scale from 2 to 3. A relatively big number of individual high scores is given in the question 46 which states that supervisors often discuss individual performance with employees. It corresponds with the high scores in the ‘Management Support’ section as it demonstrates that managers make significant efforts to increase individual workers’ awareness about their job and potential improvements. However, most of other questions were responded with low reversed individual scores.
For instance, low values in questions 47 and 45 in the section, ‘There is little uncertainty in my job’ and ‘My job description clearly specifies the standards of performance on which my job is evaluated’ (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014, p. 41), imply that, in terms of organizational boundaries, there are significant barriers to innovation increase in the company because many of surveyed employees feel that they are forced to comply with particular standards. Moreover, the reversed scores for points 42 and 43, ‘In the past three months, I have always followed standard operating procedures or practices to do my major tasks’ and ‘There are many written rules and procedures that exist for doing my major tasks’ (Kuratko, Hornsby & Covin 2014, p. 41), indicate that although the results in ‘Work Discretion’ area show that many employees have a relatively high degree of freedom in choosing individual manner of work process according to own preferences, some workers decide to follow the standard procedures more often. It means that the company may not regulate the individual task performance in a strict way at all organizational levels, but, to some degree, it still fails to encourage individual employees to perform more independently of the written rules. In this way, the factor of organizational boundaries impedes organizational innovation ability.
It is possible to say that all five of the evaluated factors are interrelated in the corporate environment, and they influence each other. One of the weakest areas of performance – time availability, – refers to the fact that employees have inappropriate workloads and the designed schedules do not support CE. At the same time, the fact that some employees can be more autonomous in their work than others. i.e. have more chances to do their job in a creative and innovative manner, means that those individuals who comply with standard procedures have fewer opportunities to generate and share new ideas, be recognized by the management, and be rewarded for innovation efforts. It is possible to presume that the respondents who gave the lowest scores in the ‘Work Discretion’ section are lower-level employees, i.e. subordinates, while those who evaluated different points in the section with higher values are the middle-level workers and managers. It is suggested that lower-level employees may spend more time doing their regular tasks and operations, while managers may be given with more responsibilities and time for innovation.
Some controversial results were obtained in the evaluation of DP World’s work discretion and organizational boundaries. Both sections are related to the fashion of work process, i.e. the degree of autonomy, standardization, and corporate regulation of individual work, but while one received the highest value among all other section, the second one (organizational boundaries) had the lowest scores. It can be explained by the fact that although some respondents have sufficient freedom for controlling own work process, there is no uncertainty regarding standards of performance and work evaluation in DP World which means that many employees fail to be creative.
The majority of study participants view the organizational management support positively. It is suggested that the company has well-developed human relationships and knowledge management because the areas of manager-employee communication and discussions obtained high total scores. While management assistance and financial support, as well as rewards and reinforcement techniques, are among the strongest factors encouraging CE, inappropriate work structuring (schedules and workloads), as well as the identified inequality in the provided opportunities for innovation and autonomous decision making between the employees, becomes the main barrier towards the successful CE implementation and achievement of better innovative outcomes in the organization. Based on this, the potential methods for the improvement of the situation in DP World’s internal environment and ideas that can help to improve its CE activities are represented in the following paragraph.
At the point of starting a business, all organizations usually try to innovate and implement a kind of CE, but as an organization grows and becomes larger, the need for stricter control and regulations arise (Jayamohan, McKelvie & Moss 2014). Traditional forms of management and operations’ control are essential for the sound growth of a company, but when the controls become too tight, the employees become unable to innovate. Therefore, the primary task of any large organization, including the company selected for this study, is finding a right balance between the accomplishment of regular operations and maintenance of CE. The findings in the previous literature suggest big or growing enterprises to create process and work structure in a way to make it less conservative and formal because such forms of work structuring which involve traditional hierarchies, reporting systems, and levels of subordination may create barriers to the achievement of positive outcomes in CE because, usually, they require workers to follow rigid rules and provide limited autonomy.
As mentioned by Allen and Henn (2007), ‘a successful innovation process requires organizational structure that makes collaboration and sharing of knowledge possible’ (p. 126). Since the traditional and too formal business models and processes implemented by organizations can now be regarded as ineffective because they do not help to fulfill the organizational interests and obtain competitive advantages, and since the selected organization showed relatively low scores in the areas related to work discretion and employee autonomy, it can be recommended for it to take measures to reduce the repetitive and standard behavior and strictly regulated processes to boost creativity among all employees. As it was mentioned above, the rules and standards help large organizations to control the situation, but it is likely the increased level of formalization that prevents the company from the enhancement of organizational innovation capability.
Since DP World shows that it recognizes the importance of CE and understands its connection to the creation of advantages in business, it can be able to accept and implement a less formal structure of work operation. The researchers suggest a business model that would allow a decentralized decision making and a continuous and active communication between individuals, departments, and workers from different levels of performance (Lekmat & Chelliah 2014). The adoption of an informal structure can lead to better innovative solutions because it supports collaboration and provides all employees with independence in making decisions about their job. However, such structures provoke the risks of occurrence of chaos at the workplace and confusion which may ultimately lead the company to adverse outcomes.
Thus, the balance between formalization and informal principles of work discretion are needed. There must be a particular amount of uncertainty in the definition of individual objectives and tasks which may cause employees to look for support and guidance from their colleagues (Allen & Henn 2007). Therefore, through the exploration of areas characterized by uncertainty, employees can become inspired through collaboration and increase their creativity in an indirect way without focusing on innovation efforts directly. Thus, it is possible to assume that by increasing uncertainty to a relatively high but manageable level and minimizing the compliance with operational rules and standards among employees, especially the lower-level ones, DP World will become able to improve its innovativeness. The rules can be followed when employees perform their routine and basic operations, but innovation will be achieved only when every new problem is approached individually.
It may be difficult to find the right balance in work structure at once and implement it in a large organization. Therefore, many enterprises prefer to establish cross-functional teams and enhance cross-functional communication which ‘allows the development of unusual combinations of ideas that lead to imagination and creativity’ (Allen & Henn 2007, p. 28). Cross-functional teams allow the mix of formal regulations and sufficient flexibility required for CE. Based on this, the promotion of a more decentralized and independent decision making in such teams becomes possible.
Another big issue that should be resolved in the company is the lack of available time needed for innovation. The flexible working hours and the provision of enough time for innovation activities is a major component of CE. Overall, time flexibility can be defined as the ability to choose when, where, and for how long they should be performing their tasks (Golden 2011). Time flexibility may have different formats. It may be based on ‘varying workday start and end times’ or may provide employees with total autonomy in choosing the time of work (Golden 2011, p.3).
Since the organization participated in the study primarily performs office operations, the first variant of flexible time may suit the internal organizational culture and structure best. It is observed that when employees can determine and influence their work schedules allows increasing both productivity and innovation. Greater time flexibility may help individual workers to be more focused on the results of their work rather than just time spent at the workplace (Golden 2011). When employees are given with greater work time control and independence, it provokes some other benefits as well, e.g. increased job satisfaction, reduction of stress due job insecurity, and negative physical symptoms, which may also be related to employees’ expression of creative thinking (Golden 2011). Therefore, more flexible working time may help the company to create additional non-monetary benefits for its employees and use them for the stimulation of creative and innovative processes.
Another option is the provision of more free time to employees during the workday. According to the recent research findings, by offering free time to all-level workers, an organization can facilitate the performance of basic tasks which, in more formal and traditional schedules, prevent innovation increase and implementation of new ideas (Agrawal, Catalini & Goldfarb 2015). The creative ideas are usually born during the short periods of relaxation and free time. The researchers claim that ‘slack time drives innovation, and one of the mechanisms through which this occurs is the facilitation of mundane tasks’ (Agrawal, Catalini & Goldfarb 2015, p. 16). A short period of spare time allows a person to focus on some other activities rather than on just the accomplishment of routine procedures. As a result of such psychological discharge, an employee obtains an opportunity not only to contribute to the improvement of the organizational CE behavior as a whole but to develop a more innovative and fresh approach to own work.
Many international organizations which are well known for their orientation to innovation implement the slack time policy by providing their employees with free time for the activities not related to their regular duties. For instance, Google allows its workers to spend 20% of the workday time to do the personal projects (Agrawal, Catalini & Goldfarb 2015). This type of rules encourages experimentation and facilitate creativity. However, the spare time policy is associated with some risks of time misuse and high ‘costs of complacency’ (Agrawal, Catalini & Goldfarb 2015, p. 1). Therefore, to implement such work time regulation in a right way, it is important to make an emphasis on not just doing something different during the spare time, but rather on the active and rational individual use of time resources.
It is possible to presume that the untraditional format of work planning and scheduling, including flexible time and spare time policy, can be useful only with strong management support and well-developed organizational culture which is successful in the integration of CE values and promotion of the entrepreneurial principles among employees. The analysis of data collected through surveys revealed that the selected organization has good and supportive management practices which are perceived by the study participants as a positive factor in the internal organizational environment. Therefore, a well-balanced and well-adjusted informal time policies can have a favorable impact on the individual performance.
Finally, since a good reward and reinforcement system is one of the main factors of CE, and since a few flaws in DP World’s rewards system are observed, some improvements can be made in this area. A reward system should cover different dimensions including finance, status within the company, career development, self-actualization, and many other psychological motives. A motivation system which creates multiple opportunities for individuals to succeed and grow can be efficient in provoking entrepreneurial behavior (West, Sacramento & Fay 2006). Therefore, employees should clearly understand that the risk-taking behavior and creativity will ultimately be rewarded and that they will not be blamed or will not lose something in case of failure. It is also important to let individuals know that their success is recognized by rewarding them with extra benefits added to previously determined salary.
Therefore, the organizational motivation system should clearly identify what type of behavior and efforts should be rewarded. The compensation for the high-quality work and innovation should be consistent, regular, and should be aligned with employees’ actual efforts. The combination of financial and psychological rewards may have a better impact on entrepreneurial behavior. Recognition and appreciation can be especially helpful in encouraging employees to express their creativity. Moreover, contrary to the monetary forms of rewards, they are associated with fewer possibilities to provoke dissatisfaction of those workers who do not show behaviors which could be rewarded. Additionally, big monetary rewards are related to some financial risks because, as mentioned by Manne (2011), at the initial stage of innovation project development, it is hard to estimate if it will be profitable and successful or not. Nevertheless, monetary rewards can help the organization to stimulate some especially active innovators and retain them in the company.
In the given study, we assessed the factors of the internal organizational environment which are related to the performance of CE and tried to identify they contribute or create barriers to CE in the selected international setting. It was revealed that management support, work autonomy, time availability, organizational boundaries, and rewards are strongly associated with CE. However, in the selected organization, only the factors of management support, work discrepancy, and reward are relatively well-developed, while the factors of time availability and organizational boundaries need significant improvements.
It is observed that the company values innovation efforts and encourages entrepreneurial behavior through communication and sponsoring promising ideas and projects, but it fails to provide work structure and schedules which could lead to better CE outcomes at all organizational levels. The suggestions for the improvement of entrepreneurship within the organization were described in the paper. We have made the focus on the improvement of organizational policies in terms of workload and work time allocation, development of more balanced work structure and cross-sectional teams, as well as balancing the rewards and reinforcement system. The recommendations were based on the evidence and findings from the previous literature devoted to the issues associated with CE. By doing this, we attempted to achieve greater credibility.
The data analysis and literature review made it clear that the strict control and regulation of employee activities do not let organizations improve CE, but the manageable level of uncertainty provokes exploratory activities, leads to pursuing management support and communication, and stimulates innovation. Managers’ support is one of the core elements of CE because the managers play a leading role in the provision of necessary resources, the establishment of positive relationships with employees, development of an understanding of organizational goals, and encouraging innovation by giving employees feedbacks on their work. It means that in an entrepreneurial environment, managers should not be focus just on the accomplishment of tasks, but all their decisions and actions should mainly be oriented to people who work in the organization.
Being a large international enterprise, DP World has a formal and traditional work structure in which tasks, standards, and objectives are clearly identified. The study findings make it clear that although formalization is necessary for the big companies, it should be balanced with some less formal practices and structures which would support innovation increase. The recommendations given to the company can help the company to use its existing advantages to increase time availability, improve structures and policies, and enhance communication between different organizational levels. In this way, it will be possible to achieve better CE outcomes.
We would like to say in the conclusion that the inability to improve CE may lead companies to negative outcomes and result in loss of competitive advantages which are needed for every company that operates in a hostile and dynamically growing markets. But in such environments, the continual renewal and innovation are a necessity, and the organization needs to implement all possible measures which suit its objectives and internal formats and have a potential to avoid or minimize risks. It is impossible to forecast all risks beforehand, but a strong organizational environment and structure can prepare the organization for facing potential threats without losing much and become more flexible and innovative in reacting to them.
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