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Venture Organizational Learning Research, The Relationship Between Entrepreneurial Performance

Posted on:2007-02-24Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:Y F DingFull Text:PDF
GTID:1119360182983017Subject:Business management
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
With the fast growth of China economy and prosperous domestic entrepreneurship, more and more researchers were increasingly paying attention to the process during which new ventures were created and grew up. Many people realized the important value of applying concepts of learning to the field of entrepreneurship. Although the concepts of organizational learning have gained currency in the field of management, their applications to entrepreneurship have been limited. In the limited discussion about entrepreneurial learning, the researchers reviewed the field of entrepreneurship as a context for the emergence of learning, exploring the learning process under entrepreneurial context. As entrepreneurial learning is a new concept, the researchers should draw on mature organizational learning theory to analyze learning process under entrepreneurial context (Harrison, 2005). For this purpose, we tried to analyze the structure model of organizational learning under entrepreneurial context based on some classic organizational learning theories. At the same time, we verified the unique characteristic of different learning strategies, and dynamic learning process. Finally, we tested the relationship between entrepreneurial organizational learning and entrepreneurial performance, and analyzed the moderate effect of environment factors.In Study 1, in order to identify the whole process and critical incidents of new ventures creation, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 21 entrepreneurs in 16 different entrepreneurial enterprises. Based on the first hand information, five key elements of organizational learning were abstracted by coding technique of content analysis, such as information acquiring, interacting and integrating, experiment and testing, knowledge storing, rule application. At the same time, the contributions of organizational learning to new venture creation effectiveness were analyzed. The results showed that organizational learning can promote new venture creation effectiveness through four aspects: knowing about and adapting to environment, building shared mental model, forming organizational rule and institution, fostering core competency.Study 2 includes two sub-studies. In sub-study 1, March's exploration-exploitation organizational learning model, cognitive learning theory and behavior learning theory were reviewed. According to the learning theory, an integrated entrepreneurial organizational learning structure model was brought up.With research results from foreign scholars', a questionnaire of entrepreneurial organizational learning assessment has been established. Based on the 193 qualified samples from more than 53 entrepreneurial enterprises, confirmative factor analysis was conducted. The result of factor analysis showed there are two different types of learning in entrepreneurial process: explorative learning and exploitative learning. Explorative learning is featured as information acquirement, interactive integration, and experiment;while exploitative learning is featured as knowledge storing and rule application. In sub-study 2, the evolvement of organizational learning pattern at different entrepreneurial stages was investigated. The result showed the core learning activities varied with the entrepreneurial stages evolving.In Study 3, based on the 283 qualified samples from 120 different entrepreneurial enterprises, the relationship between entrepreneurial organizational learning and entrepreneurial performance was tested with the SEM. Entrepreneurial performance was divided into two types of performance: innovation performance and growth performance. The results showed explorative learning has a significant contribution to innovation performance, and influence growth performance via improving innovation performance. But exploitative learning only contributes to growth performance, and has no influence on innovation performance. At the same time, the moderate effect of environment factors was tested using the hierarchical regression analysis and divided group regression analysis. The results showed that environment dynamics and environment heterogeneity had significant moderate effects. When the environment is getting more dynamic, all learning activities are becoming more important to entrepreneurial performance. But the thing was getting complicated with the environment heterogeneity increasing. Some learning activities, such as information acquiring, have more contribution to performance. But the contribution of other learning activities, such as rule application, dropped rapidly.In Study 2, we had verified that March's exploration-exploitation organizational learning model could be applied to entrepreneurial context. And we had found that the learning strategy was different at different entrepreneurial stage. In Study 4, we designed an entrepreneurial scenario, and with the simulated experiment, we explored the characteristics of each learning strategy, and the dynamic transformation between the two learning strategies during the whole entrepreneurial process. Results indicated that: (1) The two learning strategies had different learning curves. The learning curve of explorative learning was disconnected and instable, but that of exploitative learning was cumulative and stable. (2) During the whole entrepreneurial process,entrepreneurs changed their learning strategies time and again, presenting a "exploration - exploitation - re-exploration - re-exploitation" dynamic process. (3) Some key organizational factors (such as entrepreneurial aspiration level and resource for entrepreneurship) had significant effects on learning process.Finally, the main conclusions of this paper were summarized. The theoretical progresses and practical implications of the present study were discussed, as well as the limitations of this study and the directions for future research.
Keywords/Search Tags:entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial stage, explorative learning, exploitative learning, entrepreneurial performance
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