Essay on Entrepreneurship in the Global Environment part 2
Entrepreneurship models’ analysis and comparison
Above all, Akio Morita and Marcel Bich were true entrepreneurs convinced of the correctness of their assumptions about the global markets for consumer goods despite the existing rules of the game, and the history proved their market assessment to be right.
In particular, Baron Marcel Bich’s skills included a unique ability to feel the market condition of disposable products of mass consumption. His goal was to saturate the mass market with cheap, reliable products that could be thrown away after they fulfilled their intended purpose. Bich’s strategy was to identify the products that are used every day and yet are so expensive that instead of throwing away their owners try to repair them. He focused on the simple and obvious things and did not let anyone stand in his way.
Indeed, disposable culture was the product of mind of a rebel, an image-breaker and a workaholic who did not listen to anything but his intuitive belief. Marcel Bich ignored the opponents who predicted his defeat in almost any market he entered. For example, the shaving accessories market industrial specialists including the Gillette said that the potential market for disposable products is less than 10% of the safety razors consumer market, while Marcel Bich predicted that could take 50% or more of the razor market (Landrum, 1993). His rightness manifested so vividly that it struck himself and shocked the entire industry – only a few years after the start of production he possessed more than 60% of the market. Marcel Bich is now a recognized genius innovator who stands behind the whole culture of disposable things. The recipe of his successful innovations is to attack new and unknown markets with the following philosophy: concentrate on one product used by everyone every day and make it durable and cheap. His prophetic advice to innovators around the world encourages them to iterate professionals and listen only to oneself as he reached success because he did not listen to anyone’s but his own advice.
Akio Morita followed a similar idea. Making decisions about the development of new products, he would always say: “Sony creates markets” (Collins and Porras, 2004) Akio Morita believed that supply generates demand and not vice versa, and denied market research conducted by the largest US firms to justify each of their business decisions. When asked why Sony did better than American companies, Akio Morita replied that America is a society of excuses; no one takes responsibility; American manager no longer wants to make decisions. Even the most solid market research could predict that Sony Walkman would be a success, moreover that it would be a sensation and cause the emergence of numerous imitations (Morita, 1986).
Thus, Morita and Bich had an intuitive way of thinking classical for innovators. Intuitive-thinking leaders see new perspectives that can be explored, new programs for the development, new organizational structures that can be implemented, new buildings that can be constructed. Intuitive-thinking leaders can revitalize staff, mobilize energy and create vibrant and sustainable change. Such leaders have a specific charisma – the charisma of ideas, as Stokes, Wilson and Mador (2010) rightfully mark. Powerful and clear image of a new dream is a source of great power. As a result, both Akio Morita and Marcel Bich were guided by the strategy of making dreams come true by taking risky decisions that could result in big profits.
One of possible explanations for this entrepreneurial courage was an active creative temperament of these managers unique in its nature. Thus, basing on Collins and Porras (2004) study, Akio Morita gained energy from the events of the outside world, and according to Carl Jung classification of personality types, he was an extrovert. He saw the world of business as a big picture, that is, as a whole. Akio Morita saw the forest rather than the trees when evaluating opportunities. Akio Morita made decisions in a reasonable and objective manner typical for technical education he received. Akio Morita’ temperament based on the intuitive way of thinking gives the right to classify him as a creator of a point of view or a system.
In turn, Marcel Bich can be called a dynamic workaholic. An introvert, he got his energy from the inner world of ideas, emotions and experiences, and he had developed intuition that allowed him to see a large picture of the world. According to Jung’s typology, Marcel Bich belongs to INTP type (introversion, intuition, thinking, perceiving), which makes him a tireless, thinking and acting innovator. Bich was also a representative of the vanguard of the leading figures of culture. Studies have also shown that this type of person is very creative and endowed with logical thinking (Bornstein, 2004).
In addition, Marcel Bich was hazardous, and, like most fans of competitions, was not afraid to take a big risk for the sake of great potential. His trade developments show greater propensity to take risks, and in his rare statements in the media, he used the terminology of athletic competitions. He focused on winning, which naturally did not arose big love for him in the establishment. For example, French bankers for a long time refused to credit him justifying this by his excessive carelessness. Marcel Bich could not forgive that to them are used their services only in cases of emergency (Landrum, 1993). Similarly, Morita always sacrificed the present for the future making any business decisions. His success, the success of Sony, and the success of Japanese business is largely determined by the desire to compete. This desire is a direct consequence of the fact that the life of the Japanese people is uncertain, and this uncertainty is based on the daily struggle for survival. Japanese encounter daily danger from birth – every year they face typhoons and tsunamis, their land is constantly shaken by life-threatening earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Their land has no natural resources other than water, and less than a quarter of the land is suitable for agriculture and living. Akio Morita (1986) believed that this constant threat to life left its mark on the psyche of the Japanese and made them ruthless in competition, strive to extra-achievements and preserve what they have.
Morita’s commitment manifested in how aggressively Sony entered a new market, categorically attacking competitors: suffice it to recall the advertising slogans of Sony: “The One and Only”, “It’s a Sony”, “Like.No.Other” (Sony Official Website, 2014). On the other hand, New York Times once called Bich the most fast-moving entrepreneur: competitors were constantly amazed at the speed of its penetration to a new market and its development; bankers were confused by his impetuosity (Landrum, 1993). In the speed of moving toward his goals was his strength, and scaring away the others, it became his way to success. In this regard, Bornstein (2004) claims that most people in the world do not achieve their goals because they never actually put them in the first place. This makes the major difference between successful innovators and average people. Real creators form and control the environment on their own, while an average person rather adapts to the existing environment. Maslow has also confirmed this through his study, concluding that a self-actualizing creative personality shows to be independent, autonomous, and self-directed, however, only 10% of the population are self-actualized and are able to select simple, elegant solutions out of chaos and complexity (Zimmerer and Scarborough, 2005). And yet, this ability proves to be fundamental to all successful innovators and entrepreneurs and is most evident in the performance by Byron Marcel Beach and Akio Morita.
At the same time, in spite of their natural passion to risk, neither Bich nor Morita were committed to achieving instantaneous success. On the contrary, the emphasis on long-term macro-economic requirements of mass market was predominating in their business philosophy, making it strategic entrepreneurship, under Wickham (2006) terminology. For instance, based on the long-term prospects, Morita decided to locate a plant in San Diego, long before it became necessary (Collins and Porras, 2004). In totally Japanese tradition, he also never considered there first technological developments as failures, but rather as an investment into the company’s experience. As a result, later innovative developments by Sony have always been ahead of their competitors and immediately entered the mass usage, becoming simply irreplaceable. In turn, the market philosophy of Marcel Bich based on the creation of products radically opposite by their consumer cycle – i.e. cheap and non-renewable products, has also been closely linked to time and its society. Creating a culture of disposables, with some mysterious instinct, Bich caught the emerging needs of the generation that was in constant rush and was not willing to waste time on repairing consumer products. The generation of “future shock” already appeared by that time, and each of innovators considered here contributed to its growth and strengthened its consumer habits in the long run.
Generally, the assessment of module MGT6A3 outcomes puts us in front of the idea that today, in an increasingly unpredictable and competitive dynamic economy and a rapidly changing business environment, companies need a new type of manager – an enterprising leader whose behavioral norms differ from those of a classical business leader.
On the one hand, new management challenges are related to the new global strategies and approaches to diverse human resources. The global market leads to necessity to take into account the specifics of hundreds of thousands of cultures, while the current history of management abounds with examples of companies that proved unable to find a way to foreign markets or simply failed.
On the other hand, as Deakings and Freel (2009) claim, managers increasingly agree that the boundary between entrepreneurs and business leaders becomes blurred and fuzzy. Leaders are beginning to use an entrepreneurial approach to business and it is the way the next generation of leaders is brought up in. Both entrepreneurs and business leaders must possess strong communication skills, be energetic, flexible, determined, self-reliant when it is necessary to rely on intuition, to be visionaries. Entrepreneurial Leadership is based on the leader seeing oneself as an entrepreneur that runs one’s own business. From Entrepreneurship in the Global Environment course we have learnt that leaders of this type (Zimmerer and Scarborough, 2005; Stokes, Wilson and Mador, 2010; Bornstein, D., 2004):
- take the initiative charging people with energy, act as if their role in the company is not just important, but critical,
- demonstrate entrepreneurial creativity, constantly look for new opportunities and use them,
- take risks, dare to initiate new risky business projects, set the strategic direction and inspire their people,
- take responsibility for the failure of their team, learn from these failures and use them as a stepping stone to the success and strategic achievement.
Entrepreneurial leadership requires a lot of self-confidence to think, behave and act as an entrepreneur in order to implement the company’s plans for the benefit of all its players. Tenacity and aggressiveness guided Marcel Bich and Akio Morita on their way to dominance in their business around the world, as we have shown it in this paper. Unshakable self-confidence, exceptional self-esteem and simply extraordinary intuition – all focused on achieving the goals and never let these entrepreneurs down. Farsightedness, commitment and rebellious spirit led them to enter new markets with new ideas and concepts that had never existed before. They both broke the established traditions and they created their own trade organizations contrary to the opinion of competitors, distributors and investors who believed that the task was impossible. While the majority of the industry leaders were too conservative to indulge in dangerous waters the innovators usually sail in, Marcel Bich and Akio Morita ignored the traditional trading companies and created their own means of moving towards success. These outstanding entrepreneurs used their talents to improve the world, and each one who aspires to become an innovator should try to learn from them to develop this remarkable skill.
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