An investigation of the potential interrelationships between the coping-values of entrepreneurs and the developmental stages of their businesses

Le Grange, Andries (2017-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.


ENGLISH SUMMARY : Many authors advocate the benefits of deepened insight to be gained from contextualisation. Some of them highlight the need for multi-level research as a method to identify interrelationships across research focus areas to contextualise findings. The entrepreneurial business development phenomenon, as a social ecosystem, seems to be no different. This research supports this view. Applying research of an integral nature, the research seeks to gain deepened insight into the forces that contribute to the complex processes of the entrepreneurial business development phenomenon. This research explores the contextual interrelationship between the objective developmental stage of the entrepreneurial business and the subjective coping-value profile of the entrepreneur. The important role of the entrepreneurial business in any economy is generally accepted. Furthermore, the crucial importance of understanding the dynamics of the successful transition of entrepreneurial business from early-stage towards established business has been highlighted as a key concern of any government or stakeholder responsible for the well-being of their citizens. The successful transition from early-stage entrepreneurial business to established medium, largersized entrepreneurial business is complex. Various authors have observed that only a few entrepreneurs seem to be successful in developing their business ventures. They observed that successes in entrepreneurial business seem to consist of two key elements, being the success of the business venture and the extent that this is aligned with the entrepreneur’s intent. Therefore, this research study holds the view that it is improbable to explain entrepreneurial business development independent from the context of the entrepreneur’s intent. With an observed need to contextualise the relationship between the subjective intent of the entrepreneur and the objective developmental stage of the business venture, the aim of the research is to explore the value proposition of integral research as a utility to operationalise the processes to gain deepened insight into subjective and objective interrelationships. The research considers some basic principles in the application of an integral approach. This is followed by the identification of theoretical models on subjective and objective elements that offer utility to explore the subject field of entrepreneurial business development through an integral approach, in order to gain contextual insight. The study frames these theoretical models in the context of the entrepreneurial business development ecosystem, proposing a framework to guide the application of an integral approach to gain deepened insight into entrepreneurial business development. The remainder of the research explores the practical application of the proposed framework, using sample data collected on entrepreneurial businesses. Reflecting on the results of the research analysis, an induced theoretical proposition is formulated that: the subjective interrelationship between the entrepreneur’s world-view and his egocentric developmental seems to interrelate with the objective developmental stage of the entrepreneurial business. Academically, considering the explorative induced findings of this study, suggestions are made for future research into the identified possible causalities in the above contextual interrelationships. This dissertation, in context of an entrepreneurship ecosystem model, ends with a translation of this academic work into legitimate practical application.

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