Analysis of Corporate Entrepreneurship in Public R&D Institutions

Alexandru Agapie, Cristian Vizitiu, Silvia Cristache, Marian Năstase, Liliana Crăciun, Anca Molănescu
2018 Sustainability  
This paper aimed at establishing a Corporate Entrepreneurship diagnosis model within public R&D institutions. We based our analysis on empirical identification of a generalized set of organizational factors, perceived as intrapreneurship vectors. The quantitative research targeted 50 experienced public entities and was based on validating one of the most popular psychometric instruments in the entrepreneurial literature: the Corporate Entrepreneurship Assessment Instrument (CEAI)-originally
more » ... EAI)-originally intended for the North American economic environment. As recent literature questioned the cross-cultural portability of psychometric instruments, this study intended to validate the five-factor intrinsic structure of CEAI. The five factors deduced by our statistical analysis were: support for opportunity investigations and reinforcement; dynamic environment and recognition; decreased formalization; knowledge sharing; time availability and strategic awareness. Next, the factor scores were used as input variables for a logistic regression procedure, with the output variable being the intrapreneurial value of the respondents' institutions. Two factors contribute considerably to the predicted intrapreneurial value: support for opportunity investigations and reinforcement and decreased formalization. The validity of the whole approach is supported by the relevance of the original CEAI questionnaire, able to reveal intrapreneurial characteristics, and by the prediction power of the logistic regression model over the intrapreneurial propensity of public institutions. The financial problems of the country deepened with the eruption of the economic crisis in 2008, when problems translated upon the public sector due to a strong destabilization of the economic environment. As a result, public investments in Research and Development (R&D) and corresponding infrastructures decreased dramatically, as well as the overall number of public sector employees. As a timely reaction of the Romanian Government to re-launch the R&D sector, measures for increasing the absorption degree of specific funds or even for creating new national funding opportunities were taken. Under these circumstances, even if the Romanian public and private R&D sectors exhibit a limited experience in the way of achieving sustainable competitive advantage in a globalized economic world, it is mandatory for them to undertake specific entrepreneurial initiatives in order to survive and grow in the frame of fierce competition. The entrepreneurial initiatives interpreted as 'deliberate and spontaneous actions, by means of continuously recognition and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities' ([1] (p. 792)) will be implemented by means of corporate entrepreneurship strategy [1-3] which in turn will nurture innovation, proactiveness, and risk taking inside the organizations [4] . Entrepreneurship within existing organizations, also called Corporate Entrepreneurship (CE) or intrapreneurship [5] , has been extensively investigated by scholars all over the world for the business field in order to obtain ample and comprehensive internal organizational factors in encouraging entrepreneurial behavior of employees. In this regard, myriads of key organizational factors were concocted as aspects related to finance and resources, control and inventiveness, sponsorship, influence, power, time, rewards, organizational structure, risks, management support, and others as [6, 7] contended in their ample literature reviews. Certain scholars have tried to advance research on CE stimulation within the business field, but [6] succeeded in developing a comprehensive psychometric instrument based mainly on factor analysis for diagnosing Corporate Entrepreneurship (CE) culture in the North American industrial environment. Stated as a cornerstone within the entrepreneurial literature, other significant initiatives were extended, as [8] for South African entrepreneurial culture, whereas [9] undertook similar endeavors for analyzing the Romanian business culture. Taking into account the fact acknowledged by stated literature that most research is oriented towards the private business field, the aim of the present study is to shift the balance by analyzing the entrepreneurial culture within the public institutions. Public institutions, as government-owned and government-funded organizations [10] , have also to cope with the globalized and competitive economic environment, and thus they need also to embrace entrepreneurial culture and spirit [11] . In the stated paradigm of very scarce knowledge on entrepreneurship within public institutions, the herein proposed research focuses on the adaptation to the Romanian Public R&D sector of the most popular psychometric instrument in the entrepreneurial literature, namely, as previously stated, the Corporate Entrepreneurship Assessment Instrument (CEAI) developed by Hornsby, Kuratko, and Zahra [6], for the North American economic environment. As already noticed in the literature, cross-cultural portability of psychometric instruments is questionable. We analyze the CEAI from the point of view of the five-factor, 48-item construct validity, with the declared goal of determining the most appropriate factor structure of the Romanian Public R&D Sector. By identifying the existence of perceived entrepreneurial organizational factors specific to Romanian public R&D institutions, the study proves useful both in diagnosing the intrapreneurial Romanian culture, and in promoting corporate entrepreneurial strategies modeled on employee's behavior. By fostering proactiveness, out of the box thinking, championing, risk taking attitude, and other aspects, Corporate Entrepreneurship (CE) strategy could have decisive benefits for the Public Research Sector as enabling innovation of all kinds, and furthermore, undertaking technology transfer activities, and building distinctive competence centers as well. In other words, the Romanian Public Research sector requires an entrepreneurial strategy under the form of CE in order to nurture economic growth, expansions, international prestige, collaborations
doi:10.3390/su10072297 fatcat:vwt6fg66vbbmdmgsb6lwvuumli