Essays on entrepreneurship motivation and autonomy

Once rooted in a business, entrepreneurs have full control over every decision made under them.

Entrepreneurship Defined: What It Means to Be an Entrepreneur

The flip side is, of course, the additional stress and pressure that go along with that responsibility. Some people love working with others. They like the atmosphere of team-based creative problem solving, the interactions between mutually respectful, intelligent people, and the thrill of succeeding together. Just remember that no family lives without occasional disagreements. They might want to become the face of a brand and earn a taste of fame along the way. They might want to leave behind something that appreciates them.

They might even want to pass the business on to a future generation. Which of these motivations drives you the most? Before you dive into the world of entrepreneurship, think carefully about what it is, exactly, that you want out of the experience. Now, Build a Legacy. Entrepreneur Media, Inc. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site both directly and through our partners.

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Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. Sign Up Now. Jumpstart Your Business. All sets of questionnaires were distributed in a printed format and coded to ensure that the responses of the subordinates and their supervisors could be matched.

Both the subordinates and the department heads were asked to return the completed surveys directly to members of the research team. In total, we obtained responses from subordinate working under 59 department heads representing an overall response rate of 82 percent , with an average of just under 5 subordinates per department head see table 1.

Of the subordinates, 46 percent were male, had worked for their organization for 4.

Autonomy at Work: The Key to Performance, Job Satisfaction and Innovation

The Cronbach's alpha for each of the subscales was. The department heads rated the innovative behavior of subordinates using five items from a scale developed by Scott and Bruce that has been applied in recent public sector studies e.

Essays on entrepreneurship motivation and autonomy

The Cronbach's alpha for the scale was. The present data set was multilevel in nature, consisting of employees nested within 59 departments. We analyzed the data on the basis of hierarchical linear modeling because employees within the same department may be more similar to one another than to employees working in a different government department e.

We used hierarchical linear modeling that utilized robust maximum likelihood estimation in Mplus 7. There were no violations of the regression assumptions of normality and linearity Tabachnick and Fidell as assessed through bivariate scatterplots, residual plots, and the examination of univariate skewness and kurtosis indices.

There were also no correlations that exceeded. Before hypothesis testing was undertaken, a confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to examine the construct validity of the variables used in the study and to establish whether the four dimensions of psychological empowerment i. Following Renko et al. The mean rwg for the entrepreneurial leadership scale was. Taken together, these results provide support for the aggregation of entrepreneurial leadership to the team level.

Table 3 presents the means, standard deviations, and correlations of the study variables.

How to Create Autonomy for You and Your Team

As shown in the table, there are positive correlations between entrepreneurial leadership, PSM, and innovative behavior. There were also positive correlations between each of the four dimensions of psychological empowerment and innovative behavior. Hypothesis 1 predicted that entrepreneurial leadership is positively related to psychological empowerment.

Hence, hypothesis 1 was supported for the psychological empowerment dimensions of meaning and impact. Hypothesis 2 predicted that psychological empowerment mediates the relationship between entrepreneurial leadership and innovative behavior. To test the hypothesized indirect effect, we employed a Monte Carlo simulation with the recommended 20, random repetitions Preacher and Selig A Monte Carlo simulation is a flexible method for building the confidence intervals around the estimated indirect effects.


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It can be used when bootstrapping is not feasible, such as for complex multilevel data. The Monte Carlo technique has been found to perform favorably with bootstrapping in terms of statistical power and accuracy Preacher and Selig Hypothesis 2 was thus supported for the dimensions of meaning and impact, as zero is not contained in the corresponding 95 percent confidence intervals.

Hypothesis 3 predicted that PSM is positively related to psychological empowerment. Hence, hypothesis 3 was supported for the dimensions of meaning and competence. Hypothesis 4 predicted that psychological empowerment mediates the relationship between PSM and innovative behavior. Hypothesis 4 was thus supported for the dimensions of meaning and competence, as zero is not contained in the corresponding 95 percent confidence intervals.

Overall, 31 percent of the variance in innovative behavior was explained by our model, representing a large effect size by conventional standards Cohen The present study found that entrepreneurial leadership, a style of leadership in which the leader acts as an entrepreneurial role model and encourages subordinates to identify and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities in the workplace, and employees' PSM are effective at promoting employees' innovative behavior by enhancing their psychological empowerment.

More specifically, our findings suggest that whereas entrepreneurial leadership elicits innovative behavior by enhancing employees' perceptions of impact and meaning, PSM elicits innovative behavior through enhancing meaning and competence. Our findings have both important theoretical and practical implications.

First, the main theoretical contribution of this research results from our identification of the psychological mechanisms that link entrepreneurial leadership and PSM to subordinates' innovative behavior. Although previous research has examined the impact of other leadership styles on psychological empowerment Seibert, Wang, and Courtright , this study is the first to examine the mediating effects of psychological empowerment on the relationship between entrepreneurial leadership and employees' innovative behavior.

It is also the first to analyze the mechanisms linking PSM to employees' innovative behavior. In addition, by examining the relative importance of different facets of psychological empowerment, the present study provides a more nuanced understanding than previous work on the psychological processes by which leadership and the motivations of employees shape employees' innovative behavior.

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Our finding that both entrepreneurial leadership and PSM primarily drive subordinates' innovative behavior by heightening their perceptions of meaning is especially relevant. Work is considered to be meaningful when there is a fit between work requirements and an employee's own ideals, values, or standards Spreitzer Although public sector employees may feel that they may have a certain degree of autonomy in deciding work activities, this may not translate into innovative behavior because of rules and regulations that mandate that minutely specified processes and procedures must be followed when implementing changes.

This may be a case of red tape, which goes beyond mere formalization and can be defined in terms of the negative effects of rules and procedures Moynihan and Pandey Our research also has important practical implications. As individuals with high levels of PSM and entrepreneurial leaders were found to elicit employees' innovative behavior, hiring practices could assess job candidates' PSM and propensity to engage in entrepreneurial leadership activities.

In China, questions about PSM and entrepreneurial leadership could be integrated into the annual civil service examinations, which were taken by 1. Our results show that public organizations would be well advised to design jobs that civil servants consider meaningful and at which they feel competent. Moreover, exhibiting entrepreneurial leadership characteristics and the ability to spur innovation could be considered to be prerequisites for promotion within the civil service Fernandez and Wise Traditionally, many public managers are promoted because of their professional ability and seniority.

They often do not realize that one of their responsibilities is to encourage their employees to be more innovative Liu and Dong Entrepreneurial leaders have to create a climate that is conducive to the development and realization of novel ideas Meijer To prepare them for these roles, entrepreneurial leadership training could be provided to all civil servants above a certain level.

This setting could be used to educate managers on the importance of acting as entrepreneurial leaders. The present study employed psychological empowerment theory to examine the underlying processes that link entrepreneurial leadership and PSM to innovative behavior. PSM was found to positively influence employees' innovative behavior via meaning and competence. While innovative behavior is not, in itself, an end, it is a prerequisite for overall innovation in public organizations and an important facet of public value creation Moore This study is not without limitations.

Another limitation concerns the fact that data collection was carried out in one area in a single country, the Yangtze Delta Zone in China. Future research should examine whether the study's findings are generalizable to other parts of China Wu, Ma, and Yang and across countries. While identifying psychological empowerment as mediator of the relationship between PSM and innovative behavior is an important first step, we encourage future studies to analyze this relationship in more detail, for example, by examining multiple PSM dimensions and conducting experiments.

Future research should also examine the boundary conditions of the mediated relationship between entrepreneurial leadership and innovative behavior through the various dimensions of psychological empowerment. Other factors that could accentuate the relationship between entrepreneurial leadership and innovative behavior may include the extent to which an organization's reward systems incentivize innovative behavior and the innovation climate within teams. His research focuses on leadership effectiveness in the public context and the emerging phenomenon of social entrepreneurship in China.

Alexander Newman is professor of management at Deakin University, Australia. He has published widely in the areas of leadership, entrepreneurship, and organizational psychology in journals such as Leadership Quarterly, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Public Administration, and the Journal of Applied Psychology. Public Sector Organizations Springer, His articles on leadership and performance in the public sector have appeared in journals such as Public Administration. Brian Cooper is associate professor at Monash University, Australia.

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Public Administration Review. Qing Miao Zhejiang University Search for more papers by this author. Alexander Newman Deakin University Search for more papers by this author. Brian Cooper Monash University Search for more papers by this author. The copyright line for this article was changed on 25 July after original online publication.

Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Abstract Prior research has linked the innovative behavior of public sector employees to desirable outcomes such as improved efficiency and higher public service quality.

Figure 1 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint. Innovative Behavior in Public Sector Organizations In an age of austerity in which public organizations around the globe face an increasingly turbulent operating environment and the challenge to do more with less, innovation has become central to effective service delivery to citizens Bernier, Hafsi, and Deschamps Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovative Behavior The extent to which public managers should be entrepreneurial has been debated throughout public administration history.