Entrepreneurship Skills Acquisition And Product Innovation In Nigeria (A Case Study Of National Open University Of Nigeria: NOUN)

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Entrepreneurship Skills Acquisition And Product Innovation In Nigeria (A Case Study Of National Open University Of Nigeria: NOUN)


Abstract


The concept of entrepreneurship played a formative role in the emergence of business history as a distinct academic field. Entrepreneurship is a process of wealth creation for an individual, community and the large society. The primary goal of this study is to examine entrepreneurship skills acquisition and product innovation in Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to determine the relationship between entrepreneurial skill acquisition and product innovation in Nigeria.This study employed the purposive sampling technique. a total of 70 participants in a 10 minutes quick survey session. The 70 participants formed the study sample size. The data for this study were obtained through the use of questionnaires administered to the study participants. The study employed the descriptive statistics in analysing and interpreting the responses from the study participants while the hypothesis was tested using chi-square statistical tool. The findings of the study shows that Entrepreneurial skills acquisition enhances product innovation. The findings has also shown that entrepreneurial skills acquisition has enhanced product innovation through the following ways Competition, Cross-border transactions, Leadership and Risk management.


Table Of Content


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypotheses
  • 1.6 Significance of Study
  • 1.7 Justification of the study
  • 1.8 Definition of terms

Chapter Two

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Conceptual Review
  • 2.3 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.4 Empirical Review

Chapter Three

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research settings
  • 3.3 Sources of Data
  • 3.4 Sample size technique
  • 3.5 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.6 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.7 Reliability of Instrument
  • 3.8 Validity of Instrument
  • 3.9 Limitation of the study

Chapter Four

Data Analysis and Discussion of Findings

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Analysis of Research Questions
  • 4.3 Discussion of findings

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary of Findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

Historically, research on entrepreneurship started much earlier, and traces its roots to different motivations and theoretical concerns. The historical study of entrepreneurship has been particularly concerned with understanding the process of structural change and development within economies. Business historians have focused on understanding the underlying character and causes of the historical transformation of businesses, industries and economies. This historical research has typically employed a Schumpeterian definition of entrepreneurship. Unlike the recent management scholarship, it has not focused primarily on new firm formation, but rather on the varying forms that innovative activity has taken and on the role of innovative entrepreneurship in driving changes in the historical context of business, industry, and the economy. The concept of entrepreneurship played a formative role in the emergence of business history as a distinct academic field. Since the middle of the nineteenth century, economic historians had critiqued the static theories of classical and neoclassical economic thought by documenting the ways in which the structure of economies had changed over historical time.

This early historicism emphasized the ways in which the institutions of capitalism and industrialism evolved (Hodgson 2001). By the early twentieth century, however, a number of historians and historical sociologists had moved beyond the institutional perspective to emphasize the mentality and agency of entrepreneurs in the process of economic change. German historical sociologists explored the role of religion and social relations in the development of modern capitalist attitudes toward economic gain and economic opportunity (Weber 1904, English translation 1930; Simmel 1908, English translation 1950; Sombart 1911). By the middle decades of the century economic and business historians were very engaged in researching the careers of influential eighteenth-century entrepreneurs as a way of understanding the causes of the Industrial Revolution (Ashton 1939; Wilson 1955; McKendrik 1959, 1964).

These studies focused attention on the creative agency and subjectivity of individuals in the process of economic change. This growing attention to entrepreneurs as agents of historical change was bolstered by the theoretical work of Joseph Schumpeter. The Austrian economist’s ideas helped establish entrepreneurship as a substantive area of historical research and deepened the significance of the business historians’ endeavors by linking entrepreneurship to a theory of economic change. Schumpeter argued that the essence of entrepreneurial activity lay in the creation of “new combinations” that disrupted the competitive equilibrium of existing markets, products, processes and organizations (Schumpeter 1947).

The creation of such new combinations, he elaborated, was a constant source of change within markets, industries, and national economies. It underlay the “creative destruction” that replaced old 6 forms of economic transaction with new forms in capitalist economies (Schumpeter 1942). In the decade leading up to his death in 1950, Schumpeter repeatedly stressed that the empirical study of entrepreneurship was an inherently historical endeavor because the phenomenon was best understood in retrospect as a critical element in the process of industrial and economic change. Social scientific investigation of entrepreneurship needed to focus not only on entrepreneurs and their firms but also on temporal changes in the industries, markets, societies, economies, and political systems in which they operated, an eclectic approach that history could provide (McCraw 2006).therefore, Entrepreneurship is a process of wealth creation. As such it was a fact of life long before there were any written words, yet it is not particularly noted in the classic economic literature, nor is it given a place as a separate discipline in the academic community. An emerging trend began in the 1950s, when a few universities in Japan and the U.S. initiated courses in small business management as electives in the business curriculum. Not until the 70’s, 80s and 90’s, as a means of career alternative for individuals and a solution to stimulate and revitalize a nation’s economy, did entrepreneurship finally earn its place in institutes of higher learning, government and the professions. Today, virtually from all corners of the world, entrepreneurship seems to have been sought as an alternative to both extremes of ideology – capitalism on the one hand, and socialism (including communism) on the other.

In fact, since the thought that ‘the triumph of capitalism will be communism’ is still in many people’s minds, entrepreneurship appears to be the only sensible solution, not only to provide financial gains to the individual and add value to the society, but also as a method of allocation of wealth in the market economy with minimum intervention from the government. Regardless of the attention provided by everyone concerned about the wealth of nations and its relationship with the development of ‘Entrepreneurial Mind, and Enterprising Culture’, defining entrepreneurship is still a difficult task. Although there is no consensus among academics about how entrepreneurship should be defined, a definition is needed, not merely for the sake of clarification, but for study, research and policy reasons. A proper definition for ‘Entrepreneurship’ will give it a respectable place in human endeavours, useful for economic development worldwide, even though the argument may go on forever.on the other hand, Innovation is a key driver of progress and development as well as a source of inventions in all areas of society, technology, and administration (Farazmand 2004: 8). Innovation is the one business activity that has been most closely related to economic growth (Guzman-Cuevas et al. 2009). From the business perspective, innovation is considered to be a strategic instrument that serves to build and enhance business capabilities (Farazmand 2004: 5) and it can be defined as the implementation of something new, original, significant, or valuable (Luecke and Katz 2003) or a significant change that occurs through an array of substantial improvements (to a product, process, or service) in comparison with previous accomplishments (Harper and Becker 2004). Innovation is concerned with novelty in terms of product, service, process, program, or device (Damanpour 1991), ideas, approaches, methods, processes, structures, behaviors, attitudes, and cultures as well as technology, capabilities in the management and administration of communities, and in the management of various types of organizations (Farazmand 2004: 8).

An issue that many researchers find interesting concerns the disparate approaches to innovation by SMEs and large companies and the degree of their effectiveness. Some researchers claim that innovation may be of even greater importance for the SME sector than for large companies (Fritz 1989). In this study we would attempt to examine entrepreneurship skills acquisition and product innovation in nigeria


1.2 Statement of the problem

One of the major goals of economic development strategies pursued by successive Nigeria Government has been the reduction of unemployment through job creation.

Burnett (2000) asserts that entrepreneurship is a necessary ingredient for stimulating growth and successful economic development. Entrepreneurs orchestrate these transformations and create new channels for economic activity and employment. Thus, all countries that wish to pursue continued development must encourage entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are creators of employment for the Nigerian growing population which has significant effect on poverty alleviation. Poverty and unemployment are interrelated. Alleviation of unemployment most likely has positive influence on poverty alleviation. Entrepreneurship has therefore gained increased prominence and importance as a key factor in job creation, economic growth and development.

Acquiring entrepreneurial skills has sky-rocket the number of entrepreneurs in the society. Why this is economically applaud-able on the long run, the One question that has not been given due and appropriate attention is, how has the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills enhanced product innovation in Nigeria. The evaluation of this situation would give a crystal-clear picture on the weakness of entrepreneurial skills acquisition and therefore inspire efforts to fill the gap. It is on this premise that this study is undertaken to examine entrepreneurship skills acquisition and product innovation in Nigeria.


1.3 Objectives of the study

The primary goal of this study is to examine entrepreneurship skills acquisition and product innovation in Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. Determine the relationship between entrepreneurial skill acquisition and product innovation in Nigeria.
  2. Examine how the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills have enhance innovation in Nigeria.
  3. Examine the challenges impeding the entrepreneurial innovation in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Is there a significant relationship between entrepreneurial skills acquisition and product innovation in Nigeria?
  2. In what ways has the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills enhance innovation?
  3. What are the possible challenges impeding entrepreneurial innovation in Nigeria?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following Null hypotheses was developed and tested in the study

  • H01: Entrepreneurial skills acquisition does not enhance product innovation.
  • H02: There is no positive significant relationship between acquisition of entrepreneurial skills and product innovation.

1.6 Significance of Study

The importance of this study lies in the attempt to find a relationship between each of the concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship. And the impact of this relationship in developing an entrepreneurial marketing strategy, and economic development. As such concepts are compatible, because the innovation of new products and services that are unique and high in quality forms the foundation to entrepreneurship in this field. Successful marketing strategic planning must rest an solid foundation of innovation and entrepreneurship, a foundation which is considered an essential intellectual method of such planning.


1.7 Justification of the study

This study is undertaken to express the relationship between entrepreneurship skills acquisition and product innovation in Nigeria. It will show the possibilities of innovative entrepreneurship in Nigeria and suggest the roadmap to this goal. Hence, the study proves useful to entrepreneurs and policy makers.


1.8 Definition of terms

Innovation:

Innovation in its modern meaning is “a new idea, creative thoughts, new imaginations in form of device or method”. Innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.

Entrepreneurship:

The activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.

Skills:

A skill is the ability to carry out a task with determined results often within a given amount of time, energy, or both. Skills can only be innate. Skills can often be divided into domain-general and domain-specific skills.

Acquisition:

The learning or developing of a skill, habit, or Quality.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary of Findings

This study was carried out to examine entrepreneurship skills acquisition and product innovation in Nigeria. This study was reported in five chapters. The chapter one gave a historical background to entrepreneurship, statement of the research problem and its objectives as well as its significance. In the chapter two, literatures were reviewed both of local and international content. The review included conceptual, theoretical and empirical reviews. In the third chapter, we described the research process adopted for this study. The descriptive survey design was employed. A total of 62 students of the National Open University, who are entrepreneurs were enrolled in the study as respondents in a 10 minutes survey. Using chi-square statistical tool, the results of the study shows that there is a positive significant relationship between entrepreneurship skills acquisition and product innovation in Nigeria. Furthermore, the acquisition of entrepreneurship skills have enhanced product innovation in Nigeria. Areas, which acquisition of entrepreneurship skills has quickened innovation includes: product competition, SME leadership, SME risk management, etc. However, the findings also reveals that innovation in Nigeria entrepreneurship have been impeded by factors such as Persistently depressed profits, insufficiently supportive government, deficient knowledge and technology transfer, limited skills and
access to finance.


5.2 Conclusion

Entrepreneurship can contribute in important ways to economic development. One way it does this is through innovation, which involves the development of new products, new processes, new sources of supply, but also the exploitation of new markets and the development of new ways to organize business. However, not all entrepreneurs innovate. A better understanding of the determinants and impacts of innovation in developing countries and the policies and institutions that support or hinder innovation is the central contribution research. Without detracting from the wealth of detail contained in the various chapters, we conclude this study by spelling out three general lessons. First, the impact of innovation is important across different countries and institutional contexts. But the nature and role of innovation will differ at different levels of economic development. Entrepreneurs withnot very-high recognition provide innovations that are important for firm and country growth, even if they are incremental in nature. Innovation in developing countries involves the process by which firms master and implement the design and production of goods and services that are new to them. Many small improvements in product design and quality, changes in the way production is organized, creativity in marketing and modifications in production processes and techniques reduce costs, increase efficiency and flexibility torespond to changes in competitive conditions and enhance productivity and employment growth.


5.3 Recommendation

From the findings as shown above, we recommend the creation of attractive investment climate and conducive business environment for new business entries. The growth of private sector is paramount for sustainable economic growth of the country and poverty reduction. The culture of fostering growth of entrepreneurship and creating environment for scaling up and rapid growth of innovative and more productive firms should become one of the key priorities of the country’s development goals. There should as well be an increase access to markets, information and supporting skills development, facilitating access to finance and creating special instruments and institutions to encourage innovation, increase firm-level research and development (R&D) and commercialization, facilitate knowledge and technological spillovers to increase firm-level productivity.


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