The Effects Of Entrepreneurial Skill On Product Portfolio Development

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The Effects Of Entrepreneurial Skill On Product Portfolio Development


Abstract


This research work examined the effects of entrepreneurial skill on product portfolio development of medium scale enterprise in Lagos. It is important for business owners (be it a small medium scale enterprises operator or large scale enterprise), who aspire for optimum success in their endeavour to take cognisance of the essential entrepreneurial skills which will aid the effective achievement of their organization goal and objective. The research design adopted for the study is survey research design. The main instrument used was self administered questionnaires. The data obtained from the questionnaires were analysed using mean, median mode and standard deviation. Two hypotheses were tested using Z-test at 0.05% level of significance. The analysis done reveal that there is significant relationship between entrepreneurship skills and product portfolio development. Also, co-operation between small medium scale entrepreneurs and research institutes, for exploitation of research findings of these institutes should be encouraged in order to achieve development in general was recommended.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The success or failure, of any organization product offering(s), be it goods or services, depends immensely on the strategies and technologies used in developing, maintaining and sustaining such products or services in the target market. The extent to which these responsibilities/duties/tasks are successfully carried out is as a result of the unusual skills, experience and ability possessed by the owner (entrepreneur), of the said business organization; to effectively co-ordinate the human and material resources in that organization, in order to achieve the stated organisation objectives either to make profit or community service rendering.

The said responsibility of the ‘entrepreneur’ can be emphasized in the definition given by Edward P. Lazear. According to him, an ‘entrepreneur’ is a generalist who put together terms of people and assembles resources and capital. To do this effectively, they must have a general set of skills.

Although an individual maybe endowed with a set of skills but endowment can be augmented by investment in human capital. Therefore, responsibility of assembling, coordinating, etc. of these said resources cannot be carried out effectively by a mere business owner whether it is a small organization or a large firm.

These said skills, possessed by ‘entrepreneur’, enables them provide products ( in form of goods or services), of great additives, which is second to none in the market of industry; is referred to as the quality that must be possess by an individual to be a successful entrepreneur, and it’s called ‘entrepreneurial skills’.

The term, ‘entrepreneurial’, is an adjective concept that is used to describe the degree of entrepreneurial trait, that an individual possess or exhibit or the pattern of entrepreneurial behaviour, present in an individual activities. Therefore, it can be said that a person who displays some characteristics or habits, typical of an entrepreneur, is said to be ‘entrepreneurial’.

It is possible, that entrepreneurial skills are embodied in the networks with customers, suppliers and other market participants that enhance the outcomes of entrepreneurs. It’s also possible that it is the greater ability to identify markets, set strategy and correctly analyse the various business problems and also enables organization develop their product portfolio.

In enhancing the outcomes of an entrepreneur, a sequential process or procedures must be followed. This is termed as ‘entrepreneurship’.

According to Kuratko and Hodgetts (2001), entrepreneurship is the dynamic process of creating incremental wealth. This wealth is to be created by individuals who assume major risks in terms of equity, time and career commitment of providing value inform of some products or services, which may not be new or unique, but the entrepreneur must place value by securing and allocating the necessary skills and resources.

The focus of this study, is on skills which will also encompass the ability to successfully allocate resources (human and material), for the achievement of the objective.

A skill, can be said to be an organized and coordinated pattern of mental and or physical activity in relation to an object or other display of information usually involving both the receptor and effect or process. It involves having enough ability knowledge and experience to be able to do something well.

Hence, for a person to be regarded as an entrepreneur he/she must possess some certain unusual and personal attributes, behaviour, values and skills or characteristics that allows them to successfully develop, setup, grow, render and maintain a product of great addictive which consumers within the industry sees as second to none. They are referred to as the agent of effective economic changes, an enterprising individual, job creator, the goal getters, etc.

The various skills of entrepreneurs have been classified into three (3), (Linus Osuagwu, 2006). They are ‘technical skills’, ‘business management skills’ and ‘personal entrepreneurial skills’. Technical skills are said to involve such things as writing, listening, oral presentation & communication, monitoring environment, ability to organize, etc. on the other hand, management skills includes those areas involved in starting, developing and managing any enterprise i.e. skills in decision making, marketing, general management/administration, financing, accounting, production, controlling and negotiating which are essential in launching and growing a new business venture.

While personal skills are some skills that differentiate an entrepreneur from a manager i.e. inner control/discipline, risk taking, being innovative, being change-oriented, being persistent, visionary leader, etc.

All these entrepreneurial skills are undoubtedly needed in every facet or an organization product development or product life cycle (development, growth, maturity and decline stages), to ensure the sustainability of the various products to a state of economic stability and growth in order to maximize profit.

For a setup to be referred to as organization, it must have a product offering i.e. goods or services which it is to render to consumer in exchange for profit. An organization product(s) offering, is the set goods or services rendered by the said organization to satisfy the needs and wants of its target market, for the purpose of achieving it stated goals and objective. And if the said product offering is well coordinated, it will lead to high demand and continuous existence of the product and it will automatically bring about the need for the said organization to expand its scope or area of production either by diversifying, integrating, among other option available to the organization. Hence, the need to develop or design a product portfolio arises.

A portfolio is referred to be a set of investment. In other words, an organization product portfolio can be referred to as a set or list of the organization product offering (their investment).

When an entrepreneur owns only a single enterprise, he is referred to as a novice owner/entrepreneur. Habitual-serial owners/entrepreneurs are those that start more than one business consecutively and habitual-portfolio owners/entrepreneurs are those who start more than one business concurrently. As documented by extant relevant literature on small business ownership (Carter, 1999).

‘Portfolio entrepreneurship’ is concerned with the ownership of multiple businesses by a single entrepreneur and it is viewed as a means of reducing or spreading business risk.

The need for entrepreneurial skills for product portfolio development evolved as a result of the strong gaps or lack of qualification often faced by small, medium scale enterprises (SMEs) owners, which leads to some set back such as liquidation, low profit, product offering reaching the decline stage within a short period, etc.

Also, there are certain commonalities that exist between small, medium enterprises and entrepreneurship that allows ‘entrepreneurs’ venture in to the medium scale enterprises and making it their habitat. It has gotten to the point that it has become a common practice or tradition to discuss entrepreneurship in relation to small, medium enterprises. For instance, SMEs requires low capital setup which will encourage ‘entrepreneurs’ who have what it take but low capital to setup a business, they can both be a sole proprietorship business or partnership i.e. joint venture, merger, etc.

Hence, SMEs and entrepreneurship needs to be dealt with or handled hand in hand for development to take place in an organization because most SMEs owners lack the required skills and ability to manage a business to a state of stability and sustainable growth and help build their business activities in to an empire and reduce/minimize the setbacks mostly faced by SMEs.

With the small enterprise inventions, adaption’s and general technological development are possible (Kilby (1965), and Mothweit & Zegveld (1981). Also, Steel and Takasi (1982), note that small enterprises have potentials for absorbing labour while maintaining output. And this objective can be greatly achieved with the help of entrepreneur intervention in SMEs industry through the application of the various entrepreneurial skills.

In other word, if all the necessary entrepreneurial skills are also use and maintain in SMEs it will help greatly in developing their product portfolio. Also due to entrepreneurs ability to perceive new business opportunities in the environment they will be able to expand the business horizon in SMEs and thus develop the organization product portfolio by increasing the set of number of product produced by such organization; if well-coordinated hence product portfolio development.

With all the above explanation of who an entrepreneur is and the skills and abilities they possess, including the weakness of SMEs, one will see that there is need to develop entrepreneurial skill for product portfolio of an organization to be developed mostly in small medium enterprises, which will lead to economic development in general ( at a speedy rate).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

There are thousands of people who have nursed the aspiration to setup their own business(s). for most the prospect remains just a wishful thought, for others, something happens in their live which presents an opportunity, which they perceived or make use of, perhaps an un-expected inheritance; or an event which forces or bring about a change in direction. But having the capital available to start a business is not enough. Even in the case of the trade men who is made redundant and possesses both the technical skills needed to work and the redundancy pay out to start his, surviving in business requires some unique or unusual skills. The problems lies firstly in identifying which specific skills are mostly relevant to the business proposal, and secondly in determining objectively whether or not they are available in the person (entrepreneur to be). In the event that the required skills are not currently available, then those deficient skills must either be developed or imported i.e. by employing an intrepreneur (imported skilled personnel), or going for training (developed skills).


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to examine the effects of entrepreneurial skill on the development of organizations product portfolio.

The specific objectives are to:

  1. Identify the various entrepreneurial skills useful for product portfolio development.
  2. Identify the strength and weakness of entrepreneur(s) in dealing with the challenges of product portfolio development.
  3. Establish a relevant model for establishing and implementing an effective skill development for small business enterprises.
  4. Make appropriate recommendations for enhancing the development of new skill on product portfolio.

1.5 Research Hypotheses:

  1. Ho: there is significant relationship between entrepreneurial skills and product portfolio development.
    Hi: there is no significant relationship between entrepreneurial skills and product portfolio development.
  2. Ho: that lack of skill of entrepreneur(s) does have significant relationship on the product quality.
    HI: that lack of skill of entrepreneur(s) does have significant relationship on the product quality.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers the effect of entrepreneurial skills on product portfolio development. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational Privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities


1.7 Definition of Terms:

Entrepreneur:

He is a risk taker, who buys at a certain price and sells at an uncertain price. He brings all factors of production and resources of both man and materials needed for effective production together.

Skills:

Any work-related to learning or training or personal ability that results in enhanced knowledge and aptitude to perform a job.

Products:

A product offering of an organization is the goods or services that is provided by the organization to satisfy its consumers’ needs and wants for profit making purpose or community service rendering.

Product development:

It is the process of creating new products or enhancing old products to serve the needs and wants of customers who are ready to buy the product or is already purchasing the product.

Market:

It is referred to as the group of consumers or organization that is interested in the product offering of the organization, has the resources (fund) to purchase the product and is permitted by law and other regulatory bodies to acquire the product. A potential market or target market is the total population who has interest in acquiring the product. While the penetrated markets are those in the target market who actually purchased the product.

Product portfolio:

This is the list of the set or range of products which is being offered by the firm to its market.

Entrepreneurial:

Is an adjective concept that is used to describe the degree of entrepreneurial trait that an individual possess or exhibit.

Business:

Business is any purposeful activity engaged in by an individual or groups of individual in other to satisfy their customers’ needs and wants in exchange for profit.

Development:

It is a state of growth where by a particular individual, community, country, etc. becomes larger, more nature or more advanced.

Small medium enterprises:

Are business enterprises that are setup with low capital and less management team.


1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was application of ICT to the teaching and learning of economics in secondary school. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of application of ICT to the teaching and learning of economics in secondary school


5.2 Summary

This study was on application of ICT to the teaching and learning of economics in secondary school. Four objectives were raised which included: Access the extent to which some schools use information communication technology in teaching of economics in secondary schools and operational activities, find out the advantages of the application or use of information communication technology to the teaching of economics in secondary schools, identify problems in the use of ICT in teaching and learning situations, Recommend ways of using information communication technology in teaching economics in secondary schools effectively in order to promote the technique in teaching and learning for the growth of the Nigerian educational sector, most especially in secondary schools. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 staff of selected secondary school in Jos North local government of plateau state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made principals, administrative staff, senior staff and junior staff were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


5.3 Conclusion

It can be seen that entrepreneurship entails identifying, utilizing and maximizing profitable business opportunities in a sustainable manner that can foster the economic growth and development of a community or nation. Business entrepreneurship usually results in flourishing micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which generates gainful employment, creates wealth and consequently grows the economy. Nevertheless, government policies and the prevailing business environment, particularly the uncontrollable factors can impede the significant impact of entrepreneurship on economic growth/development. This can be seen in the Nigerian economy situation in the past decade. Although Nigeria has been experiencing a reasonably consistent economic growth, the rates of unemployment and inflation have been far greater. This means economic development has not actually been achieved as it were. Because of the lack of data to measure the level of entrepreneurship development in Nigeria, an empirical is often impossible. However, a critical narrative textual case study, such as one done in this research work can provide a degree of confidence to make a conclusion. The framework and policy for entrepreneurship with consistency is fundamental and enabling infrastructural developments are perquisites for any impactful entrepreneurship development. Until sufficient jobs are created and wealth created, entrepreneurship has a long way to go in Nigeria.


5.4 Recommendation

We recommend that policy makers should recognize the essence of entrepreneurship to economic development. Entrepreneurship deserves equal emphasis as is being placed on science and technology; it is the entrepreneur that translates the innovation in science and technology into wealth. Thus, entrepreneurship should be recognized as an important factor of production just as land (raw materials), labor and capital (liquid and physical), since it is only the entrepreneur that can combine all the other factors to produce wealth. Therefore, as the nation exerts efforts to exploit our natural resources, educate the citizenry and provide human & physical capital, sufficient emphasis should be made to promote entrepreneurship in order to create enterprises, wealth and employment and thus promote positive economic development. However, it is important to first of all provide way for proper policy coordination and policy stability. There have been several government interventions and programmes aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and fostering micro, small and medium enterprises and yet no significantly impacted on Nigeria’s economic development. A pragmatic and strategic plan on gainfully engaging Nigerian youths is another indispensable solution. The primary focus of this piece is the youth who are correctly regarded as the future of every nation. Several governments are handling entrepreneurship education given its crucial nature. Some governments are rethinking the way the young are educated by infusing creative thinking and innovation in their nation’s educational curriculum. In the same vein, they are putting much emphasis on the need to train future entrepreneurs through infusing entrepreneurship components within the educational option, especially at the tertiary level. Some countries have taken this initiative to a higher level by introducing entrepreneurship education at elementary school and encouraging them to be future entrepreneurs when they are of age.


The Effects Of Entrepreneurial Skill On Product Portfolio Development


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