Global entrepreneurship and innovation are both things that have long been celebrated in the media and remain important parts of the process for those who want to achieve long-term success in business. While entrepreneurship has been romanticized over time, some have failed to appropriately attach the relationship to innovation. There is a belief that all global entrepreneurs are innovators, and those who choose to start their own firms are necessarily doing so in order to shake up industries. There is some evidence that this relationship is more complex than it may at first seem, and this is worth exploring over time.
The implications of this relationship for individuals and global change agents within organizations
The relationship between global entrepreneurship and innovation is not necessarily as strong as one might think. According to Hunter (2012), most entrepreneurs are not big thinkers, and most are not trying to innovate at all. While some might believe that the start up phase of a business is always about innovating, this is not the case in many instances. Ekore et al (2012) echo these concerns when those authors suggested strongly that many entrepreneurs operate out of fear and are not in business for the thrill of breaking the dynamics of a given industry.
What this means is that change agents within organizations can sometimes be viewed with both fear and skepticism. They are, of course, highly needed in those organizations where the leaders are not willing to take chances. In those organizations, change agents play a critical role and can be the difference between success and failure. However, one should not simply assume that just because a new business is starting up there will be a place for the person who wants to bring innovation to the table. In today’s world of entrepreneurship, there is a tendency toward not taking as many chances. This means that individuals have to be careful, and they also have to pick their spots. A smart individual who wants to play the role of change agent will need to pick the right organization from the start. It is certain that many organizations are designed for the simple purpose of shaking up industries, coming up with new technologies, and changing the game altogether. For those that are not his way, though, it is harder for a change agent to find himself in a good position. If he or she chooses wisely and goes with an organization where this kind of behavior is more highly valued, then the change agent will have a much easier time at the end of the day.
Specifics about how this relationship affects your own approach as a global change agent to risk taking and the way your personal strengths may or may not reflect the relationship between global innovation and entrepreneurship
My strengths personally tend toward more risky behavior. I understand the value of getting into organizations, bringing new ideas, and trying to shake up the status quo. Because there is a belief that new organizations are always looking for this sort of thing, there can be a belief among some that it is critical for them to behave in this way. This is not always true, and as a person who seeks to be a change agent, I will have to modify my strategy at times to account for this. I will have to take a more careful and calculated approach to the risks that I propose. In order to have ultimate success at this, one might want to develop teams of individuals rather than just trying to bring innovation alone. It is harder for an individual to have an impact in those businesses where the tendency is toward the status quo.
- Ekore, J. O., & Okekeocha, O. C. (2012). Fear of entrepreneurship among university graduates: a psychological analysis. International Journal of Management, 29(2), 515.
- Galindo, M. Á., & Méndez, M. T. (2014). Entrepreneurship, economic growth, and innovation: Are feedback effects at work?. Journal of Business Research, 67(5), 825-829.
- Hagen, B., Denicolai, S., & Zucchella, A. (2014). International entrepreneurship at the crossroads between innovation and internationalization. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 12(2), 111-114.
- Hunter, M. (2012). On some of the misconceptions about entrepreneurship. Economics, Management, and Financial Markets, 7(2), 55–104.