Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

A Study of Entrepreneurial Orientation of Small-Scale Enterprise Operators in Nigeria

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

A Study of Entrepreneurial Orientation of Small-Scale Enterprise Operators in Nigeria

Article excerpt

Abstract

Entrepreneurship has become an important issue for policy in most developing countries. At one level, enterprise creation is recognized as important for employment, growth and enhancing sustainable human development. At another level, there is concern to encourage existing business enterprises to become more entrepreneurial as a means of enhancing international competitiveness. Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO) which is reflected in recurring organizational behaviour such as innovativeness, pro-activeness and risk-taking of entrepreneurs is particularly important for the growth of small-scale enterprises.

The research study explores the extent to which entrepreneurial orientation factors were demonstrated by small scale enterprise operators. The study was carried out in Oyo State of Nigeria. The focus of the study was a purposely selected sample of 60 owner-managed small-scale enterprises engaged in manufacturing activities. The questionnaire was the main instrument of the study and it contains a set of structured questions to measure the entrepreneurial orientation of the respondents by using the 5 Point Likert Scale anchored by Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Usually and Always. Data were analyzed with the aid of Standard Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) using descriptive method of analysis.

The outcome of the study on the three entrepreneurial orientation factors shows a very great disparity from the personality traits expected of a good entrepreneur. The study concludes that aversion to risk taking, lack of innovation and proactiveness by the respondents, which are critical factors necessary for the growth of small enterprises, is very low among the respondents. Therefore, there is an urgent need to evolve a comprehensive training package for entrepreneurs in Nigeria to develop and sharpen their entrepreneurial orientation so as to enhance their competitiveness particularly in this age of globalization and market driven economy.

KEYWORDS:

Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Orientation, Small-scale Enterprises

Introduction

Identifying and supporting the activities of potential and existing

entrepreneurs has become a major concern for an increasing number of governments in developed and developing countries. In the case of the latter, public policies are designed to increase the pool of entrepreneurs and to promote the formation of certain types of businesses at the micro and small scale levels which foster entrepreneurial activity. The objectives of these policies are to encourage indigenous manufacturing activity and enhance the competitiveness of local and small scale manufacturing industries in this age of globalisation and market driven economy (Litvak, 2002).

However, one of the obstacles to entrepreneurship, variously noted among policy makers, researchers and practitioners in developing countries, such as Nigeria, is that of inadequate entrepreneurial orientation (EO) (Maule, 2002) cited in Adegbite, et. al, (2007). The personal EO involves the need for innovativeness, risk-taking and proactiveness (UNCTC, 1989). The manifestation of this inadequate EO is the low rate at which small scale manufacturing industries are created, and their high rate of mortality (Ajakaye, 1999). This problem is particularly evident in Nigeria where the EO had not been sufficiently fostered and developed for the establishment, survival and growth of small-scale manufacturing industries.

Therefore, the resulting effect of this inadequacy, on the country, is inability to exploit the abundant human and mineral resources available. This was noted by Afonja (1986) that, if these resources were exploited, using indigenous inventiveness, the result would be a considerable acceleration of the country's technological development.

Although prior research has debated whether entrepreneurial traits are innate, recent findings however supports the idea that certain attributes associated with entrepreneurs can be culturally and experientially acquired (Gorman, et al. …

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