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Entrepreneurship and Human Capital Management


According to Stokes, Wilson and Mador (2010) “Entrepreneurship is an emergent process of recognizing and communicating creativity so that the resulting economic value can be appropriated by those involved.” This definition of entrepreneurship brings out some fundamental characteristics of an individual who intends to be an entrepreneur. From this definition, entrepreneurship is an emergent process. This means that it involves coming up with a new idea that is not common in the market (Armstrong 2009).

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It may entail coming up with a new product in the market or coming up with a new superior way of delivering products in the market. Copying trends that are already in use in the market may, therefore, not be considered entrepreneurship according to this definition because it does not involve coming up with something new (Hirsch, Peters & Shepherd 2009). The definition also states that the entrepreneur must not only recognize but also communicate the new idea. Communication here involves sharing with the relevant stakeholders the emergent idea with the aim of bringing them together to help ensure that it is turned from a mere idea to a business prospect (Stokes & Wilson 2010).

Entrepreneurship must entail creativity according to these scholars. An entrepreneur must be creative enough to bring new products to the market or use new strategies to deliver products to the customers. The scholars also argue that the emergent process must result in economic value. The idea must be of economic value. A new idea that does not bring economic value may not be considered creativity (Beardwell 2007). The scholars says that the economic value must be appropriated by those involved, which means that the new idea must bring economic value to the entrepreneur and people involve in the implementation of the new idea (Beard & Wilson 2006). In this paper, the researcher will debate on the relevance of this definition by looking at the characteristics and qualities an individual needs to become a successful entrepreneur.

Literature Review and Critical Analysis

Literature review

The three scholars have defined entrepreneurship by bringing out some of its fundamental characteristics that must be present. In order to critically analyze this definition, it will be necessary to start by reviewing relevant literatures to help bring out a clear understanding of the fundamental characteristics of an entrepreneur. According to Brewster, Sparrow, and Vernon (2007), one of the most important characteristics of an entrepreneur is passion (Boxall & Purcell 2011). Many new business start-ups fail either in the first six months or before celebrating their third year because of lack of passion. People get into business because they are convinced such ventures would lead to quick financial success.

When they fail to get the financial success they expected, then they despair. They start considering other options because their main driver in starting such a business was a quick financial success. However, an entrepreneur always falls in love with what he or she is doing (Varley & Rafiq 2004). He or she is always self-motivated and driven towards achieving success even if they are facing tough economic condition. Entrepreneurs always have a vision of where their firm should be in years to come, and they know that any challenges they are encountering are short-lived. It means that they will always continue pressing on even at times when others may not see any good reason to continue on the same journey (Bratton & Gold 2007).

According to Buchanan and Huczynski (2010), one of the most important characteristics of entrepreneurs is that they are risk-takers. Starting and operating a business involves taking huge but calculated risks. Inasmuch as the risks are always calculated, it is important to note that they can occur and this may lead to serious financial loss. An entrepreneur would invest his or her financial resources, not knowing whether or not the invested resources will be recovered (Coulter 2002). They run business, not knowing what the future will bring. Many people prefer having an assurance that their investments are protected. That is why normal people would take their money to the bank instead of starting a venture that may not be very promising (Cameron 2004).

Burnes (2009) says that entrepreneurs should be disciplined, dedicated, and hardworking. Starting a new venture is not an easy process. Being smart is very important, but that alone cannot yield the desired results. It requires personal and financial discipline. This means that one should know when to draw a line between business and personal needs (Dessler 2008). Unnecessary expenses should be eliminated at all costs. Hard work and dedication are key issues that an entrepreneur should embrace to achieve success. Sometimes an entrepreneur may be forced to work for long hours and undertake complex tasks to ensure that the business becomes a success. This needs dedication and hard work (Claydon & Beardwell 2007).

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An entrepreneur must have self-belief in order to achieve success in his or her undertakings (Harrison 2005). In many instances, people get demoralized along the way after starting a new venture because of the negative comments from friends, family members of the general public. One thing that an entrepreneur must understand is that no one can have a better vision of their new venture better than him or her. People may criticize because they do not share the vision. However, this should not be a reason enough to make one quit the business. Entrepreneurs must have self-belief and confidence to continue fighting even in instances when others are trying to criticize or discourage them out of business (Henderson 2008).

Adaptability and flexibility are also very critical characteristics of an entrepreneur. The world is dynamic, and one thing that an entrepreneur cannot resist is change. Change cannot be ignored and neither can it be evaded. An entrepreneur must always be flexible and able to adapt to various changes in the business environment. According to Hirsch, Peters, and Shepherd (2009), they must have the ability to detect and effectively respond to the changing environmental forces. They must also be quick adapters to various changes that may be brought by technology, social, political, legal, or ecological economic factors (Gold, Thorpe, & Mumford 2010).

Mariotti (2003) says that planning and money management are very important characteristics of an entrepreneur. After developing a creative idea that can be turned into a commercial venture, an entrepreneur must plan properly for the individual activities that should be undertaken to achieve success. In the plan, there should be a clear explanation of when an activity will be carried out, the people who will be involved in the project, and the resources needed for the activities (Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy 2006). Money management then comes in handy as another characteristic of entrepreneurs. In many cases, one is always faced with numerous activities that need to be funded for the project to run smoothly. It is the responsibility of entrepreneurs to know how to prioritize the activities based on their relevance, urgency, and the amount of money that is available for the projects. The success of a new business venture always depends on the effectiveness of planning and money management (Longenecker, Moore, & Petty, 2003).

Networking ability is another characteristic of an entrepreneur that is worth noting. As an entrepreneur, there are people that one should keep very close. The suppliers, organizational buyers, financial experts, marketing experts, human resource experts, and policymakers are some of the individuals that an entrepreneur may need to keep very close, especially during the early stages of developing a business venture (Muller-Camen, Croucher, & Leigh 2008). Networking abilities enable an individual to have a very close relationship with these experts who can help in providing advice or help in accessing additional finance to fund projects that would help the new firm to expand. Such networks are also critical for a new firm because they help in identifying new markets (Northouse 2009).

Critical analysis

After reviewing literatures about the characteristics and values of an entrepreneur, it is now possible to critically analyse the definition of entrepreneurship given by the three scholars. The scholars say that entrepreneurship is an emergent process. The review of the literatures reveals that entrepreneurship is indeed a process. It is an emergent process of coming up with something new, which can either be a new product or a new way of delivering an existing product (Pedlar, Burgoyne, & Boydell 2007). The review of the literature clearly demonstrated that an entrepreneur should press on even in times when others feel he or she should give up (Price 2007). This aspect is brought out in this definition when the scholars say that entrepreneurship is a process.

One does not give up because the quick returns expected are not gained within a short period that was set. The entrepreneur must know that this is a process, and lack of or limited success today does not mean that the future is bleak. According to Chesher, Kaura, and Linton (2002), some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the modern world, such as Warren Buffet do not become successful overnight. They faced numerous challenges as they struggled to make it through in their new business ventures. The realized that they had to press on in the process of seeking business success even when their ventures were under serious threats. That is what brought them success (Carmichael, 2007).

According to Wilson and Mador (2010), entrepreneurship involves recognizing and communicating new ideas. From a review of the literature, it is clear that an entrepreneur must be able to recognize new ideas and interpret them in a way that can be translated into a business idea. However, the issue of communicating the idea is debatable. According to Scarborough and Zimmerer (2005), ideas are always very expensive. There are unscrupulous individuals who are always keen to take advantage of young creating minds by stealing their ideas. This means that communicating a new idea may sometimes be a risky affair. An entrepreneur may not necessarily need to communicate the new idea (Sisson & Storey 2000). He can develop a plan on how the idea should be executed and involve financial, marketing, and human resource experts to know how a given strategy should be implemented. However, this may not mean he has to reveal every detail about his new idea to third parties because it can easily be stolen (Stokes & Wilson 2010).

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The concept of creativity is also coming out in this definition. The review of literatures reveals that creativity is one of the critical components of entrepreneurship (Torrington, Taylor, & Hall 2008). As stated above, an entrepreneur must either come up with a new product or a new approach to product delivery that is better than those which are in existence. This involves a lot of creativity (Thomson, 2001). Coming up with something new involves thinking beyond the current scope and seeing something that others cannot see. The definition also states that the entrepreneurship process must result in economic value that can be appropriated by those involved (Weinstein 2005). This is very true about entrepreneurship. The process must bring out economic benefits not only to the entrepreneur but also to other people involved in the process, such as the employees and consultants (Watson & Reissner 2010).


The definition of entrepreneurship given by the three scholars helps in defining characteristics of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is different from a manager. Such an individual must have a unique capacity to see things differently from the way others do. An entrepreneur must be able to think creatively and be innovative in either coming up with a new product of new ways of delivering products in the market. From the definition, it comes out clearly that entrepreneurship is a process, not a stage, just like success. An entrepreneur must continue pressing one once a new idea is developed into a business venture. Success may not come overnight.

However, this should not be the cause of closing up the business early before getting to know if indeed, the project cannot succeed in the market. One must persevere and withstand criticism and discouragements from close friends and relatives. The definition emphasizes the fact that entrepreneurship must bring economic benefits to those who are involved in the project. An idea can only be economically viable if it brings financial success. One can only be considered to be an entrepreneur if his or her idea has financial attachments. The new idea must be translatable into a business venture that will benefit the entrepreneur and those who will be employed in the business. The literature review and critical analysis largely agree with the definition of the entrepreneurship given by the three scholars. The only issue that is unclear in their definition is the concept of sharing their idea.

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