A Resource-based Paradigm of Entrepreneurship: The Optimal Organization of Entrepreneurs as Resource

Brian Barnard, Derrick Herbst


The study examines entrepreneurs as resource, with emphasis on the entrepreneur as professional. It concludes that entrepreneurs are reliable – they are able to repeatedly innovate and venture; universal – they are not necessarily bound by industry; and experts and professionals that specialize in an area of expertise. The factors that contribute to their reliability, universality, and expertise are noted. In addition, the necessary qualifications of an entrepreneur, their development, and the factors that impact their efficiency were also investigated. It is found that entrepreneurs develop with time. By considering what motivates them, and their area of speciality, the extent by which entrepreneurs can be managed, and their authority and sphere of influence are examined.

The possible ways of organizing entrepreneurs were considered, contrasting between the objectives of the entrepreneur and that of his organization. In this regard, the key aspects were: i) funding, ii) resources, iii) risk and reward sharing, and iv) opportunity recognition and development.

The results raise investment culture, together with policies towards failure. The resources important for entrepreneurship are listed, as well as the factors relevant to venture success, and how this influences the organization of entrepreneurs. The benefits and also the hinderances of institutions, collaborative groups and entrepreneurs as individuals were considered. The informal and humanistic nature of networks surfaced, together with their competing method of opportunity appraisal, with more emphasis on the entrepreneur and other humanistic factors. Large organizations enabling entrepreneurship in small organizations (corporate venturing) surfaced as one of the optimal ways to organize entrepreneurs. Furthermore, given their characteristics, entrepreneurs can be readily exploited as economical and societal resource, with perhaps less cost than believed. It is found that the relationship between entrepreneurial throughput and risk and reward may be overlooked, lacking substance, and subject to stereotypical thinking. Entrepreneurial reward ignores entrepreneurial throughput, or assumes that entrepreneurial throughput is maximized through maximizing entrepreneurs' rewards. Risk minimization, particularly for the entrepreneur, is also not necessarily related to entrepreneurial throughput.

The study raises a number of factors and deficiencies that impact entrepreneurial output. In view of this, a number of constructs and measures pertaining to entrepreneurship are suggested: i) entrepreneurial emergence – the method used to identify entrepreneurs, and the rate at which new entrepreneurs are identified; ii) entrepreneurial development – the growth and development of known entrepreneurs; iii) entrepreneurial longevity – the reuse and lifespan of entrepreneurs; and iv) the evaluation of entrepreneurs.

The interaction between entrepreneurs and the needs of entrepreneurs also surfaced – most notably unbiased support, which they source through support networks or “entrepreneurial fraternities”. Motivation and encouragement may be as valuable advice as professional views and opinions. The study ends by raising the question whether it would indeed be possible to institutionalize entrepreneurship, mostly through legislation that require organizations to spend a percentage on entrepreneurship. A number of points support this line of thinking.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/bms.v3i2.2375


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Business and Management Studies     ISSN 2374-5916 (Print)     ISSN 2374-5924 (Online)

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