Corporate entrepreneurship is a process within an existing organization that may lead to new business ventures, new products, services, processes, structures, strategies and new competitive postures (Christensen & Raynor 2003). Kolind employed new strategies of doing work in the organization. He incorporated new practices that established an organizational environment that promoted innovation. For example, the work place environment was transformed, individual offices ware abolished for people to work in one open office.
The organization was transformed into a paperless office where all incoming mails were scanned into computers to enable workers to move freely from project to project as their work required without having to carry large masses of papers. In addition, all employees had free access to the computers where they could read their mails from anywhere in the office. The organization also emphasized on face-to-face informal communication and littered the office with stand-up coffee bars to encourage small, short, informal meetings. These changes created a sense of shared purpose and meaning in the organization.
Employees’ commitment and enthusiasm improved, developing a sense of entrepreneurship in the organization. Kolind transformed the internal environment of the organization into a new setting where everyone who believed in the attractiveness of an opportunity was
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The organization was therefore successful in directing the behaviours of its workforce towards entrepreneurship and creating systems that focused the attention of its entire employees on innovation as an important and expected activity. Kolind began transforming the organization by redefining his role as the president. He assumed the transformational leadership’s role in order to promote corporate entrepreneurship (Morris, Kuratko & Covin 2008). We are told that Kolind saw himself not as the captain who steers the ship but as the naval architect who design it.
Transformational leaders are driven by the desire to transform individuals, teams and organizations by going beyond the status quo (Alvarez & Busenitz 2001, p. 768). Kolind transformed the whole organization, he created a disorganized organization, replaced traditional organization structures with an arrangement where the organization operated on a project basis, liberated individuals so that they could think creatively and changed the organization’s mission statement and ways of doing business which focused on customers’ satisfaction.
In so doing he improved the ability of the organization to innovate and adapt to the changes in its environment (Covin & Miles 1999, p. 50). This is clear from the fact the organization launched twice as many new products compared to the same period before the changes. Kolind developed a work environment that stimulated the exchange of information between individuals (Morris, Kuratko & Covin 2008) like the coffee bars that were littered all over the open office.
Kolind therefore assumed the transformational leadership’s role in developing a culture and a work environment that encouraged innovation as expected of him as the top manager in corporate entrepreneurship. Finally, the president established a process of managing failure that defined the standards for future commitment and involved conducting a post-mortem and recouping benefits from failed projects for use else where (Brazeal & Herbert 1999 p. 33). This is evident from a saying that is said to be common in Oticon that it is easier to be forgiven than to get permission.
This implies that everyone in the organization was free to generate entrepreneurial initiatives and got the necessary support without judging the new initiatives from prior experiences because failure was considered normal. When failure occurred the focus was on solving the problem and learning from the experience not apportioning blame. This gave employees the motivation to be creative in using their diverse characters and experiences (Covin & Miles 1999, p. 48). Kolind however, took a high risk approach in abolishing and changing some structures in the organization (Ramachandran, Devarajan & Ray 2006, p.
95). Without control system like budgets, it was extremely hard to know for example when to stop spending resources and time on bad projects. In promoting entrepreneurship, Kolind allowed everyone in the organization to think and act in unconventional ways. But we are not told of any limits to this freedom and behaviours. The finance and marketing functions were abolished yet they play critical roles. Marketing contribute significantly to the success of an organization. It involves advertising, promotions, public relations, and sales.
These are important services that require a dedicated department with qualified personnel. A finance department on the other hand ensures that funds are available to acquire resources that an organization needs to achieve its objectives. Kolind thus took unnecessary risk by assuming that everyone in the organization was going to work within his framework. Some controls had to be put in place. Conclusion The dynamic and competitive nature of current business environment is forcing organizations to adopt entrepreneurial strategies in order to remain competitive and profitable.
The entrepreneurial strategies are aimed at developing a business environment that promotes and encourages innovation and creativity in solving business problems and meeting customers’ needs. The president of Oticon created a new setting in the organization that focused the attention of all employees on innovation and creativity. Kolind introduced processes and structures that enabled employees to freely integrate their diverse knowledge and experiences and provided direction towards innovative ideas.
He saw himself not as the captain who steers the ship, but as the naval architect who design it. This implies that he was actively involved in identifying opportunities the organization was uniquely positioned to exploit. As the president, he linked up discrete pieces of technical information to provide solutions to customers’ problems. Kolind developed a high level of trust in his employees and made entrepreneurship a shared value in the organization. Lastly he established an effective process of managing failure.
He however took a high risk approach in changing the structure and systems of control in the organization. Given the current business environment, to remain competitive and profitable, an organization must be entrepreneurial. References Alvarez, S & Busenitz, L 2001, ‘The entrepreneurship of resource-based’, Journal of management, vol. 27 no. 6, pp. 755-775. Brazeal, D & Herbert, T 1999, ‘The Genesis of Entrepreneurship’, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, vol. 24 no. 1, pp. 29-45.
Christensen, C & Raynor, M 2003, The Innovators Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth, Harvard Business School Press, Boston. Covin, J & Miles, P 1999, ‘Corporate Entrepreneurship and the Pursuit of Competitive Advantage’, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 47-63. Morris, M. , Kuratko, D & Covin, J 2008, Corporate entrepreneurship and innovation, 2nd edn. , Thomson South-Western, Ohio. Ramachandran, K. , Devarajan T. P & Ray, S 2006, ‘Corporate entrepreneurship: how? ’ Vikalpa: The Journal for Decision Makers, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 85–97.