Purpose: the main purpose of the paper was to examine how internal stimuli among women are vital for opportunity recognition and entrepreneurial success. Most studies in the field explored external factors facilitating entrepreneurial success at the expense of internalized individual factors. Without a gendered perspective approach, previous studies have focused so much on male entrepreneurs ignoring women in the field.
Research approach: this is a theory driven paper and hence it combined Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior with Shapero’s model of the Entrepreneurial Event. The approach was necessary to allow testing of hypothesis against each other rather than against using arbitrary standards. It was necessary for providing robust descriptive information for each factor as well as establishing the relationships between them.
Findings: it was established that environmental and individual factors both affect the relationships between internal stimuli and opportunity recognition hence entrepreneurial success. Developing entrepreneurial orientation mind set as an internal stimulus is responsible for direct positive impact of opportunity recognition thus entrepreneurial success. Entrepreneurial success depends on the core competencies for developing a strategic management approaches to internal stimuli. There is no substantial empirically proven evidence that entrepreneurial phenomenon tends to be highly compatible with certain culture than others. It is universally acceptable that there is a positive relationship between women internal stimuli, opportunity recognition and entrepreneurial successful.
Key words: internal stimuli, opportunity recognition, entrepreneurial success
The fact is that every person has at some point in life thought of becoming self-employed by owning a business enterprise. According to Hulbert, Gilmore, & Carson, (2015) every institution including government entities have always advocated for entrepreneurship as form of creating jobs. Unfortunately, very few are usually able to achieve this goal. As a result, people wonder why even promising entrepreneurial prospects fail to establish and sustain their own businesses. Approached from gender-based perspective, women are extremely affected camper to their male counterparts. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct extensive research to understand how to mould successful entrepreneurs. Past research in the field has always focused on reasons as why potential entrepreneurs usually fail to accomplish their dreams (Hulbert, Gilmore, & Carson, 2015). The study has also being inclined towards understanding external factors at the expense of personal qualities. It is important to take a different approach and examine reason why there are successful entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurial opportunity recognition and success has been extensively studied over time. However, there has existed serious biasness until in 2007 when Dawn DeTienne and Gaylen Chandler shifted their attention. The two performed an impressive function when they shifted their focus to study the role of gender in opportunity recognition. Previous studies had only focused on entrepreneurial traits, skills, environmental factors and entrepreneurial process. However, since dawn and chandler’s research there has been commendable shifting attention among researchers. According to their study, it was established that women used different human capital factors to identify opportunities compared to men (DeTienne & Chandler, 2007). Therefore, Dawn’s study has major contributions to opportunity recognition literature as well as social feminism theories. They conclude that despite the fact that women use different approaches to identify opportunities none of them is deemed superior than another. Thus, it prompts further research to understand how and why some women tend to be more successful than others are.
As a result, Dr.S.Valli Devasena & Priyadarshini, (2011) tried to establish the possible causes of success disparities among entrepreneurial women. In the study, they confirm that gender is one of the factors that determine entrepreneurial success. However, they narrowed down and established that women possess different qualities among themselves. According to their study, various factors such as age, education, socioeconomic status, social networks and regional development among others are responsible for the disparity in success (Dr.S.Valli Devasena & Priyadarshini, 2011). In addition, it is evident that most studies have only based on external factors. They thus fail to address the role of internal personal attributes in opportunity recognition as well as women entrepreneurial success. Due to this, this article has been prepared to with the purpose of extensively incorporating internal stimuli among women into the exercising literature. Similarly, it is vital to consider internal personal qualities instead of concentrating on external factors and hence the preparation of this article.
1.2 Significance of the Study
As Kickul, Liao, Gundry, & Iakovleva, (2010) states, an effective process for solving a problem entails adoption of systematic procedural guidelines. Since past research has always taken a general approach, it is time to change the tune and concentrate on a specific category of the society. Consequently, this article narrows down to examine why internally driven women entrepreneurs normally emerges as successful business people. Women, forms a relevant social section worth examination due to the changing social trends (Kickul, Liao, Gundry, & Iakovleva, 2010). Currently, women are on the forefront and they have shown great potential of taking the lead. Therefore, it is prudent to understand the type of incoming leaders before entrusting them with global resources. Research has also indicated that women have the tendency of influencing more lives compared to their male counterparts. Thus, empowering women translates into massive global empowerment and transformation hence the need to understand the dynamics about this social sector.
2.1 Opportunity recognition
Hulbert, Gilmore, & Carson, (2015) puts forth a simple definition of an opportunity is simply an inaccurately defined market need leading to underutilization of available capabilities and resources. In another study Hurbert et al (1997) business opportunity is not only a chance to meet an unsatisfied need but also where there is sufficient demand to address meeting that need worthwhile. Due to this, it is believed that an opportunity only exists in a specific industry context whereby external factors interfere with the present equilibrium states on the market. Singh & Hills (2003) write it is a key factor in any business lifecycle. It mainly occurs at the certain start-up of a venture by whether by a sole trader, in the development growth strategies or even in the construction of a business momentum in a well-established venture. In Gaglio work, ‘The Role of Mental Simulations and Thinking in the Opportunity Identification Process’, examined the how question regarding entrepreneurs think and reasons to identify and address innovative opportunities. The study examination presumes from the theory of alertness that the driving force of all economic activities entails decision-making for the change. The study, however, shifts attentions from the nature of process towards a perspective of underlying dynamics.
The aim of interfering with the equilibrium state is to initiate competition among market actors. The foundation of a business opportunity emanates from a change to the business environment. It in turn means a change in political, economic, and technological environment. As a result, Singh & Hills (2003) pointed out that recognition lies in two keys; the knowledge processed and self-awareness of that needed knowledge, the desire to own and make use of it to explore the opportunity. One is only considered a successful entrepreneur if she is able to recognize and acquire specific information about the markets. Then she must use this information to identify possible gaps that are invisible to others and strive to twist them into business opportunities.
On the contrary, from a firm perspective, Dr.S.Valli Devasena & Priyadarshini, (2011) hypothesize that competitiveness is evident in technological industry because there is pressure to cope with constant changing and developing market environment. As a result, from corporate terms, the two element of opportunity recognition converges together in some form of strategic or marketing strategies. Entrepreneurs, therefore, are forced not only to produce new products but to identify new markets as well. Adopting entrepreneurial mindsets, help them increase opportunity recognition capabilities. As forwarded by these arguments it is easier for one to become an internally driven entrepreneur due to need for active participation. As for Matherne, (2007) it is it is essential to have an understanding about person-organization fit and person-entrepreneurship fit. In simple terms, this is essential to understand the relationship between target entrepreneurs as a person with the organizations they work and their entrepreneurship goals.
Schwarz, Wdowiak, Almer‐Jarz, & Breitenecker, (2009) argues that factors that affect opportunity recognition capability among entrepreneurs can be broadly categorized into industry and market specific factors, socio-political factors and individual specific factors. The study put forward that industry and market factors include industry context, market and knowledge. Socio-political factors include government policies, culture, history, and socioeconomic dynamics. Individual factors entail major personality traits such as inventiveness, alertness, education, social class identity, social networks, previous experience and previous knowledge. In their study, Orser, Elliott, & Leck, (2012) claims that sociopolitical factors support the fact that entrepreneurial success is reliant on culture. Thus, it implies that entrepreneurship is compatible in some cultures compared to other different ones. In light of this observation, the study emphasizes that regional innovation is the major determinant for opportunity recognition.
However, Matherne, (2007) argues in contrary and claims that region specific stock of knowledge is the main factor responsible for regional disparities in entrepreneurial success. It implies that these two factors have relatively same impact on opportunity recognition. He, therefore, tried to suggest major national cultural dimension that can be used in the study of opportunity recognition process. The highlighted cultural dimensions include power distance, individualism versus collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity versus femininity, restraint versus indulgence and normative versus pragmatic. Ethnic background is another factor that has been explored to understand its impact on opportunity recognition. Result by Kickul, Liao, Gundry, & Iakovleva, (2010) shows that racial differences are among the factors responsible for opportunity recognition among nascent entrepreneurs. The outcomes of these study reveals that white women are more likely to venture into business compared to their colored counterparts.
According to Gaglio & Katz (2001), opportunity identification process is a nurtured intention that shapes an entrepreneur’s behavior. They argue that business identification process starts as a reflex, responding to the conditions we have around us. Thinking about the condition is process of opportunity identification, which counter thinking simulations provide constructs of the perceived opportunity into a viable business Gaglio & Katz firmly argues in line with the psychological literature, particularly in cases where behavior is rare or in unpredictable time lags, intentions have revealed the predictors of planned behavior.
P1: Extrinsic and individual factors both affect the relationships between internal stimuli and opportunity recognition hence entrepreneurial success
2.2 Women Stimuli to Do Business (1000-1200)
As far as Coleman & Kariv, (2013) are concerned one must understand the real meaning of entrepreneurial opportunity before developing interest in identification and exploration of these opportunities. Therefore, he defines entrepreneurial opportunity as a condition that allows development of new means to an end by reorganization of scarcely available resources for a profit. Through the definition, it follows then that internally driven entrepreneurs must have a purpose and reason for making an investment. With a purpose, it is easier to set goals and strive to achieve them for self-satisfaction as one strives to reach the highest position of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Ability to recognize an entrepreneurial opportunity has been studied extensively. The existing body of knowledge have been developed to provide an answer to the question; “why some people do recognize an opportunity that cannot be recognized by others?” As DeTienne & Chandler, (2007) states that there are chances two different people are thinking about the same thing at the same time. However, since they have different capabilities and sources of motivation, it is not easier for them to implement the idea at the same time. According to this study, the question can be addressed effectively by considering four major factors. These are previously acquired experiences, knowledge possessed, inspiration and most importantly cognition (Eckhardt, and Shane (2003). Review of existing sources of information confirms that this assertion is only true when considering social networks and entrepreneur alertness.
A delve into by Becker, Aufseß, & Brem, (2015) extents the above findings by elaborating more about entrepreneur alertness as one of the most important internal stimuli for opportunity recognition. In this study, entrepreneur alertness is defined as tendency to discern and become responsive to information about environmental stimuli. As an entrepreneur, it means that one must be able to sense the needs, interests and problems of potential product users. One is not an accomplished entrepreneur until she is able to mobilize and combine available resources to satisfy the needs of product users. Related study by Brush, Carter, Gatewood, Greene, & Hart, (2006) holds that ability to appreciate the role of external stimuli is reliant on one’s personal characteristics and traits.
Thus, the ability to interlink these inner values is the starting point for an entrepreneur to comprehend firm’s internationalization process. Therefore, opportunity recognition is a gradual process that depends on the quality as well as quantity of internally developed values. Various channels for opportunity recognition exist and most notable ones are; through education, networks and previous acquired experience. According to Coleman & Kariv, (2013) investigation, personality traits especially self-efficacy, motivational and inventiveness are vital for opportunity recognition and entrepreneurial success. Specifically pointing out on motivation, the study emphasizes that this personality virtue is vital for endurance. Through motivation, an entrepreneur is able to develop a thriving spirit and remain persistently willing to pursue the opportunity.
P2: Developing entrepreneurial orientation mind set as an internal stimulus is responsible for direct positive impact of opportunity recognition thus entrepreneurial success.
2.3 Women Entrepreneurial Success
Dr.S.Valli Devasena & Priyadarshini, (2011) emphasizes that understanding the concept of entrepreneurship among internally driven women must start buy understanding the entrepreneurial process. As he highlights, being a successful entrepreneur is not just an overnight decision. Instead, it can be considered a lifetime process that requires one to commit all that she has. Using a retrospective approach, (Kickul, Liao, Gundry, & Iakovleva, 2010) strives to highlight major stages of a comprehensive entrepreneurial process. In the study, the main stages of entrepreneurial process listed include; 1) developing self-employment thoughts, 2) discovery phase, 3) exploitation phase and 4) entrepreneurial phase. Unfortunately, this paper failed to provide an elaborative explanation about each of the mention phases. However, a related study by Schwarz, Wdowiak, Almer‐Jarz, & Breitenecker, (2009) expounded by revealing that every person at some point usually anticipates to become her own boss.
Nevertheless, as one grows and discovers more about themselves. Usually, the subjects change their dreams hence the discovery phase. During this phase, most people realize that it is very hard for them to become their own bosses and thus they opt for formal employment. The 35% who remains enter the exploitation phases whereby they becoming highly committed to start their companies. Due to some external factors such as socioeconomic status, cultural norms and education background the number of entrepreneurs continues to reduce. Eventually, only 5 to 10 percent of the population ends up starting their businesses due to their inner ability to overcome the challenges.
In relation to the above entrepreneurial process, Kickul, Liao, Gundry, & Iakovleva, (2010) conducted a study to establish the dynamic aspects associated with entrepreneurial process. In this study, it was revealed the number of people who persistently holds unto their entrepreneurial desires keeps on reducing over time. They identified that most of the quitters do so due to changes in the political and economic conditions without giving out any actual basis. It shows that most people tend to blame their failure on the situation rather than striving to understand what they are exactly made of internally. Thus, it was suggested that it is necessary to conduct research that identifies the power of internal stimuli in entrepreneurial success.
Supporting this recommendation Hulbert, Gilmore, & Carson, (2015) performed a study to assess the level of satisfaction among employed people. The findings identified that 99% of employed people are not satisfied with their current jobs. In fact, they still wish that they could have the ability to start their own businesses at some point in life. Therefore, under this study entrepreneurs were categorized into latent, nascent and young entrepreneurs depending on their age. Latent entrepreneurships are retired people who anticipate starting their own business in the next three years even though they do not have any concrete reality. Nascent entrepreneurs are people aged between 18 and 64 years who admire to start a business at some point. Young entrepreneurs are people who were at some time nascent entrepreneurs but they have actually transformed their idea into visible business start-ups.
Inspired by the above studies, Coleman & Kariv, (2013) developed a research inquiry to uncover the possible reasons for disparities among people in accomplishing their entrepreneurial dreams. One of the major factors identified by this research was gender and sex orientations. During this study, it was established women are more likely to forego their entrepreneurial dreams compared to their male counterparts. Closely related study by Brush, Carter, Gatewood, Greene, & Hart, (2006) reveals that the major cause of this disparity is the level attitude and willingness to take up risks. The results shows that women decide to become self-employed when they are older than men are and they prefer investing in service industries. This study falls short because it fails to recognize the possible reasons as to why this is the situation. Therefore, there is need to undertake further study about the topic to get insight on the possible causes of the above results.
Study by Becker, Aufseß, & Brem, (2015) established that family backgrounds have great impact on the way women make investment decision. The study states that the burden of child caring and traditional duties is major reasons as to why women base on their families to make investment decisions. For that reason, women who are married and those with school going children prefer self-employment compared to those who do not have committed family duties. This is because women with families want to capitalize on the flexibility and independence that comes with self-employment.
DeTienne & Chandler’s (2007) research on a relatively different topic has shown that increasing ability in opportunity recognition among women increases their investment confidence level. Women who are able to identify promising business opportunities are likely to become self employed at a younger age. They are also always quick to make positive investment decisions by a factor of 1.5 to 1.9 compared to men. Women with low formal education have higher opportunity recognition perceptions for startups. It is presumed that women in this category know very well they cannot secure any decent formal job and hence they must strive to become self employed. Another possible factor contributing to this is the fact that they have less divergent attentions.
A related study by Kickul, Liao, Gundry, & Iakovleva, (2010) states that highly educated people tend to have so many business ideas such that they fail to decide which one to be implemented. People in this category find every business idea lucrative and attractive as well as having serious risks. This implies that educated women usually lack clear view of their entrepreneurial goals hence making it hard for them to identify good opportunities. According to Orser, Elliott, & Leck, (2012) social relationships are also essential for accomplishment of entrepreneurial dreams. Women who have close relationships with successful business people are likely to become successful entrepreneurs as well. This is attributed to the fact that they get constant motivation and encouragement to follow their dreams.
P3: Entrepreneurial success depends on the core competencies for developing a strategic management approach to internal stimuli hence the need to recognize women’s backgrounds
2.4. Opportunity Recognition, Women Stimuli to Do Business, and Women Entrepreneurial Success
According to the wrap up views, it is evident that the relationship between the three variables opportunity recognition, women stimuli, and entrepreneurial success exist. Accordingly, the opportunity identification result from the disequilibrium state is triggered by the external factors. The external factors develop a planned behavior of an entrepreneur. Consequently, the personal factors process the opportunities recognized. According to Kirzne (1979) writes that people varies and are not equally likely to recognize the same opportunities to venture. It is through recognition arrives at because of mental simulation rather than search. However, counterfactuals thinking determine entrepreneur’s break through from the external stimulus (Gaglio, 2004).
P4: there is a correlation between women stimuli, opportunity recognition, and entrepreneurial success.
2.5 New Model/ Conceptual Framework
No specific research approach is sufficient to effectively analyze the impact of the relationship between internal stimuli and opportunity recognition on entrepreneurial success. As a result, multiple comparable hypothesis testing research models were used. The models used allowed testing of hypothesis against each other instead of being based on and arbitrary standard. As a social psychology model, theory driven model was adopted to provide comprehensive roadmap for understanding the nature of internal stimuli processes. Meta analysis study by Coleman & Kariv, (2013) have shown that attitudes are reliable for intention prediction while intentions are necessary for predicting behaviors. In the past, entrepreneurial models have neglected robust and predictive approaches hence the need for adopting a different model. Thus, the Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior is essential for measuring internal stimuli aspects such as attitude, intentions, perception, and self-efficacy. It also helps in linking these internal stimuli factors to external individual factors such as behavior. Therefore, the model is necessary for gathering information that is in line with all the above propositions.
On the other hand, Shapero’s model of the Entrepreneurial Event is required in this study as it helps in regulating information gathered. Through this model, it is easier to narrow down the focus on women entrepreneurial career as required by the study topic. Under this model, it is believed that human behavior is guided by inertia until something else disrupts the force. However, due to internally driven force, entrepreneurial women are not always ready to subdue to the demands of the external forces. Therefore, this model is vital for addressing issues to do with feasibility, desirability and propensity to act (Becker, Aufseß, & Brem, 2015). These are essential when examining social norms, anticipated utilities, and motives to comply s well as normative beliefs. When combining these models, then internal stimuli must clearly manifest through exterior qualities of an entrepreneurial wo
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