The influence of organizational structure on entrepreneurial opportunity identification
No Thumbnail Available
Entrepreneurial opportunities are situations in which new goods, services, materials and organizing methods can be introduced and sold with profit (Casson, 1982). An important factor that can influence entrepreneurial opportunity identification is organizational structure (e.g. Covin & Slevin, 1988). However, more qualitative research is needed to explore this relationship, especially within small and medium-sized enterprises. Therefore, the current study investigated the effects of organizational structure, operationalized by the eight design parameters of Mintzberg (1980), on the creation of entrepreneurial opportunities by SMEs. Based on a multiple case study, consisting of eleven interviews conducted in three different SMEs in The Netherlands, it can be concluded that if vertical job specialization is low, horizontal job specialization, behaviour formalization, and planning and control systems are moderate, training and indoctrination, unit sizes, liaison devices and decentralization are high, and unit grouping is adequate, it could be easier to create entrepreneurial opportunities. However, it seems that SMEs struggle with EOI due to their small size and a lack of time. Two new concepts, time and creativity as resources, were identified to mediate the influence of job specialization, behaviour formalization and unit grouping on EOI. Further research is needed to draw more precise conclusions.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen