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Entrepreneurship, national culture and knowledge management in a global context

Seminararbeit 2015 31 Seiten

BWL - Unternehmensführung, Management, Organisation



Theory of (corporate) entrepreneurship


Theory of knowledge

Forms of knowledge

Explicit and implicit knowledge

Individual and collective/organizational knowledge

Barriers in the exchange of individual knowledge

Barriers in the exchange of collective knowledge



Entrepreneurship, national culture and knowledge management in a global context

Table of Figures

Figure 1: CM-corporate entrepreneurship model

Figure 2: The relationship between the levels of the hierarchy of terms

Figure 3: Turkey in comparison with United States Entrepreneurship, national culture and knowledge management in a global contest


Our world is subject to rapid technological, economical and social changes. These developments can have profound influence on the competitive situation of many companies (Picot et al., 2003). Thus the depletion of international trade barriers and the onward globalization lead to an intensification of competition. Saturated markets and a high number of providers induce the change of sellers to buyers market. A fast, flexible and cost-optimal reaction to a constantly changing customer demand is more and more one of the most important competitive factors (Weede, 2011; Picot et al. 2003; Manshina 2010).

However globalized markets also allow the global acquisition of tangible and intangible goods. Moreover the networking of different areas of knowledge promotes a technological change. New information- and communication-systems induce enormous potential for product and process innovations (Picot, 2003; Manshina, 2010). But it turns out difficult for small and medium businesses to respond appropriately to the changing circumstances because of their limited tangible, financial and particularly intangible resources (Bald et al., 2011). An opportunity to meet these challenges is the implementation of knowledge management on the one hand and the implementation of corporate entrepreneurship on the other hand. Those facilitate the exchange and pooling of resources, improve the common competitiveness and the synergistically development of new markets. A knowledge company is able to reach complex achievements and develop future-orientated innovations (Manshina, 2010; Sydow, 1992; Mayr & Erkollar, 2001).

The economic globalization means also a globalization of knowledge: On the one hand knowledge and information are increasing exponentially and the access to them is greatly simplified by information and communication technologies, on the other hand this knowledge has a shorter validity and is constantly revised by new findings. Companies are facing an increasingly complex knowledge-environment, which can be perceived as threatening. Indeed a knowledge-intensive environment in connection with a specific extension of the existing knowledge base can provide great opportunities for competition. The importance of knowledge for businesses is identifiable by the increase in the share of knowledge-intensive industries in the global economy (Probst et al., 2012; Kreis-Hoyer et al., 2004).

Knowledge-management plays an important role in this context. It has the task “to create the infrastructural and organizational requirements for a learning organization to ensure that the organizational knowledge base can be used, changed and developed” (Rehaeuser & Krcmar, 1996). Where companies cooperate is a cross-company knowledge management necessary - especially for more complex developments, which concern the entire value chain (Jacob, 2012).

The focus of this paper is on the implementation of corporate entrepreneurship and on the exchange and communication of knowledge in a global context, because it allows a targeted and interactive transfer and development of knowledge as well as the creation of innovations (Eppler & Reinhardt, 2004).

Theory of (corporate) entrepreneurship

After the introduction, the main terms used in this paper will be explained now. This allows the correct usage of terms in order of importance. The concept of entrepreneurship is very extensive and an evolving field of research. The term has several dimensions and therefore a scientifically uniform definition is not possible (Gautam & Verma, 1997). But entrepreneurship has been developed as a generally recognized phenomenon towards economic growth of every country of all over the world. Entrepreneur, according to Schumpeter (1934), “is the innovator who implements change within markets through the carrying out of new combinations” and entrepreneurship “is seen as new combinations including the doing of new things or the doing of things that are already being done in a new way.” Onuoha (2007) defined entrepreneurship as “the practice of starting new organizations or revitalizing mature organizations, particularly new businesses generally in response to identified opportunities.” Both authors only consider the entrepreneur or entrepreneurship and what they represent. But they did not discuss the cause of this behavior. The behavior of entrepreneurship is based on cultures values and that refers on the framework of Hofstede's cultural dimensions. The national culture and also the corporate culture play an important impact on entrepreneurship (Eroglu & Picak 2011).

That is reason why some authors have extended the conceptual of entrepreneurship. They use entrepreneurship only in connection with corporate. According to Zahra (1991), “Corporate entrepreneurship refers to formal and informal activities aimed at creating new business in established companies through product and process innovations and market developments. These activities may take place at the corporate, division (business), functional, or project levels, with the unifying objective of improving a company’s competitive position and financial performance. Corporate entrepreneurship also entails the strategic renewal of an existing business.” Kuratko and Morris (2002) conceptualize the definition of corporate entrepreneurship as a description and a framework. Corporate entrepreneurship describes entrepreneurial behavior and it is also a framework for the facilitation of ongoing change inside established and large organizations. These examples show that there is no universally acceptable definition. The authors use many terms to illustrate the various aspects. Therefore Cröger and Maas (2015) developed his own definition. According to them, “(Corporate) entrepreneurship is the permanent organizational and strategic realignment by combining of resources with the aim to generate additional effects for the organization. Thereby the cultural values of the respective country and economic efficiency must be considered.”

Based on this definition, Cröger and Maas developed the CM-corporate entrepreneurship model, as shown in figure 1.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: CM-corporate entrepreneurship model

Source: Own figure based on Guth & Ginsberg, 2015; Fueglistaller et al 2004; Zahra, 1991. The CM-model shows that corporate entrepreneurship is a highly complex theme and various areas are affected. The external environment particularly the national culture and values are major influence factors on strategic entrepreneurship. The strategic entrepreneurship includes for example the strategic realignment, the development of innovations and the entire new foundation of a business segment. The implementation of entrepreneurship can be done through internal and external measures. It doesn´t matter if we use internal or external measures or both to achieve the objectives. The core point is that there is a knowledge transfer. Only with an extensive knowledge the objectives can be reached on the basis of the success factors. In the following sections we will explain factors, which have an effect on entrepreneurship.

National culture and values

According to some social-psychological theorists, the culture and the prevalent value system have influence on entrepreneurial behavior. National culture has defined earlier by many researchers. In the sense of Herbig (1994) and Hofstede (1980) culture is a set of shared symbols, the belief on something, attitudes, expectations, values and expected behaviors. These terms can be summarized in a definition.

Culture, according to Hofstede (1984), is “The collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one human group from another Culture, in this sense, includes systems of values; and values are among the building blocks of culture.” The definition implies that every human group has his own culture and that these different groups may respond to similar situation in various ways. They decide on the basis of personal interests or on the basis of collective and hierarchical interests. Also is culture learned and not innate. It is not in your genetic structure. Every generation gives her knowledge to the next. The third implication of Hofstede`s definition is that culture includes system of values (Mead and Andrews, 2009).

Confirming to Lynn R. Kahle, Rokeach, and Schwartz, values are durable beliefs, which based on culture and also on institutions, society and personality characteristics (Schwartz, 1996). Values are shaped by learning experiences, living conditions of the individual, the socialization process and through the national culture (Rokeach, 1973). The importance of each value system between cultures and individuals is different. In most societies values have a major role. The significance results from the fact, that they act as standards of judgment and thus influence (entrepreneurial) behavior. Values have an orientation and motivation function. They contribute to decision making and for the alternative choice (Lynn Kahle, 1983). Summarized culture and values are different for each group. They passed down from one generation to the next. There is a knowledge transfer between these generations.


Knowledge as a strategic resource becomes more and more important for companies. These are faced with an increasingly complex knowledge environment and more intensive competition. In order to survive in the market companies should focus on collectively generation and usage of knowledge so that sustainable competitive advantages can be achieved (Probst et al., 2012; Kreis-Hoyer et al., 2004; North, 2011). In this context the theory of knowledge should be considered in detail.

Theory of knowledge

For the concept of knowledge numerous distinguishing criteria were identified according to the particular scientific discipline, though there could not be found a conclusive definition for this abstract construct (Caspers & Kreis-Hoyer, 2004; Peritsch, 2000). In this paper shall be identified the essential concepts of knowledge and it tries to give a compressed definition.

The basic elements of knowledge are signs, data and information which are in hierarchical relationships. Signs are the smallest elements of data including letters, numbers and special characters, which are individually incoherent. Through a systematic arrangement by codes or syntax rules signs become data - but they are not yet in a meaningful context.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 2: The relationship between the levels of the hierarchy of terms

Source: Own figure based on Rehaeuser & Krcmar, 1996.

For example the characters 0, 9, 5 and the comma constitute a specific row, the number 0.95. The number gives no information about the context in which it is used. Therefore dates become information when they are placed in a specific context and can be interpreted by this context. The number 0.95 of the example is the exchange rate of a dollar and therefore appropriate information. From a business perspective information and knowledge can be understood as a basis for economic decisions and actions. The combination of new and already stored information is called knowledge (Rehaeuser & Krcmar, 1996; North, 2011; Probst et al., 2012).

The following definition of knowledge is based in a synopsis of the approaches of North, Probst et al. and Schreyoegg. Knowledge can be described as a set of theoretical knowledge and practical skills of a knowledge carrier, which are obtained by the process of processing and connecting information. Because of that knowledge can be understood as a stable mental pattern, which structure is complemented, restructured or otherwise modified by a steady flow of information. Knowledge is not intended to be an objective representation of reality, but rather as a subjective and social construct that is created by the interaction of people. Knowledge is shaped by the process of individual experience in a specific context so that knowledge is in contrast to data and information contextual. Furthermore knowledge is a holistic system that allows a universal application to different problems. Knowledge as a source cannot be depleted, but is reproduced by its use because more cognitive links for information are created (North, 2011; Probst et al., 2012; Schreyoegg, 2001; Peritsch, 2000, Schelhowe, 2010).



ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
851 KB
Institution / Hochschule
Ramkhamhaeng University – Institute Of International Studies
Entrepreneurship knowledge management national culture



Titel: Entrepreneurship, national culture and knowledge management in a global context