May 2014 Issue (VOL 15, NO 2)
- 137 BOOK REVIEW Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers and Challengers
- (reviewed by Zen Parry)
Abstract: The authors investigate whether organizational renewal impacts on the performance of family firms and identify aspects of ‘familiness’ acting as facilitators or inhibitors of organizational renewal. A survey instrument captured data on relevant family-related characteristics, organizational renewal and firm performance from the CEOs of 140 family firms in Greece. Regression analysis was used to test hypotheses. Strong evidence was found that organizational renewal impacts positively on the profit growth of family firms. Where CEOs had a strong growth aspiration for the future and were firm founders, and where succession planning was taking place, renewal was more likely to be enacted. Efforts are focused on creating a business that will thrive in the future, and not on curating an organizational heirloom shaped and constrained by the past. Their strong future focus liberates these family firms from possible cross-generational path dependency, allowing the special resources of their family’s business to act instead as a springboard for ongoing organizational renewal. Conversely, those family firms with a high level of family altruism indicated by extensive kin employment seem to be more likely to be destined for stagnation than stewardship, as they promote (past-focused) historical family sentiment and tradition. The dangers of cross-generational path dependency indeed seem pronounced in such past-focused firms.
Abstract: Research focused on new venture planning has received much attention in the entrepreneurship literature. However, while this stream of research has enjoyed substantial development, it also faces numerous challenges that must be addressed to ensure future progress. This paper identifies existing challenges in research focused on entrepreneurial planning and offers resolution via the development of a more parsimonious but fuller conceptualization of new venture planning. Focus is placed specifically on the most basic and fundamental planning processes and on the identification of important internal and external factors that influence how entrepreneurs progress through these fundamental planning processes.
Abstract: This study explores the value and impact that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) derive from winning business awards. Value and impact are explored in terms of enhanced profitability and performance, network development, enterprise profile and brand identity. This study employs a case study methodology with 10 SMEs drawn from a major business awards competition. Key staff were interviewed in these SMEs to explore the impact of winning the business award on the internal and external business environments. Additional organizational documentation and evidence were also collected from each SME. The results indicate both short-term and long-term impacts. In the short term, enterprises benefited in terms of enhanced brand identity in their business network and community. This resulted in enhanced sales revenue and enterprise profile. Moreover, internally, winning an award acted as a motivator for enterprise employees, enhancing their productivity and attitudes towards the business. In the longer term, these factors became less apparent, but the majority of respondents continued to exploit their business award for ongoing strategic advantage.
Abstract: This study advances research on entrepreneurial orientation (EO) in the farming sector by examining how the configuration of on-farm diversification and location shapes the relationship between EO and farm business performance (archival financial performance and self-reported non- financial performance). Data were collected from 400 farms included in the Norwegian Farm Business Survey. The research hypotheses were tested using hierarchical moderated regression analysis. As hypothesized, a positive relationship was found between EO and non-financial performance. Other hypotheses were not confirmed. Surprisingly, EO showed a negative relationship with financial performance. The interactive effect of EO and on-farm diversification on financial performance was negative. Configurations of EO, diversification and location did not account for performance differences among farms. Overall, these findings suggest that, rather than enhancing EO, farm business performance might be improved by a more inwardly focused orientation towards efficient production by increasing managerial ability.
Abstract: For years, informal entrepreneurs were largely classified as ‘marginalized’ and were perceived to be conducting marginalized ventures for survival. However, this perception gradually changed between the middle of the twentieth century and the start of the new millennium. In analysing the motivations of informal entrepreneurs from Ghana, based on face-to-face interviews with 150 respondents, the key findings were that the motivations of the entrepreneurs transcended the marginalization thesis and that informal entrepreneurs were often motivated not by necessity or opportunity, but rather by an amalgamation of the two. Although women constitute the majority of the necessity-driven informal entrepreneurs, in time some of them become opportunity-driven entrepreneurs. The implication is that there is a need for a shift from necessity–opportunity dualism to a unified approach, which depicts the motivations of informal entrepreneurs in more detail, and for broader research in other economic landscapes.
Abstract: This case study explores the growth and internationalization of Pelcor, a traditional company situated in the remote south of Portugal. The Correia family has had a cork factory for over 40 years and they originally produced cork exclusively to sell to other companies. However, due to a crisis in their traditional markets at the turn of the century, a young woman entrepreneur introduced significant changes to the business. This case illustrates how a brand can be developed for international growth and expansion by a small family business. It also highlights the role of an entrepreneur in introducing modernity, innovation and product diversification to allow such a small family firm to reach global markets. Additionally, by using grades of cork that were formerly rejected as waste material, the firm has contributed significantly to the sustainability of this natural resource.
Abstract: ‘Internet Review’ provides critical commentaries on Web-based information on entrepreneurship, small business and innovation.