University of Twente Student Theses


Planning and entrepreneurial success: finding out what effect planning progress, planning precision, and external orientation have on entrepreneurial success of business start-ups in an incubation program

Zwerus, Thiemo (2013) Planning and entrepreneurial success: finding out what effect planning progress, planning precision, and external orientation have on entrepreneurial success of business start-ups in an incubation program.

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Abstract:Venture Lab Twente is a special incubator program of the University Twente, it is aimed at further developing entrepreneurs and their business ideas. The Venture Lab program benefits the University by providing data, and gives the possibility to study different entrepreneurial qualities. The focus in this research is on the planning qualities of the entrepreneurs participating in the Venture Lab program. Planning is an important part of entrepreneurship and business success, and Planning dimensions are used to predict possible Entrepreneurial success. The literature on planning determines that there are a large number of Planning dimensions. How these Planning dimensions relate to Entrepreneurial success of entrepreneurs in an incubator program is not yet clear. To find this, the planning skills of numerous entrepreneurs that joined the VentureLab program, in relation to their organizational performance is investigated. The focus is on three Planning dimensions that are thought to give a general overview of the influence of planning. These three are: Planning Precision, Planning Progress and External Orientation. The dimension Planning Precision concentrates on the type of planning, either being very elaborate/concrete, or short/vague, indicating how planning is used by entrepreneurs. The Planning Progress dimension concentrates on the completion of planned tasks. The execution of the plans tasks indicate if the planning is being followed. External Orientation is used to indicate what the influence of the environment is. A distinction is made between the influence of external contacts and meetings outside the Venture Lab program, and contacts made within the Venture Lab program. The entrepreneurs in the Venture Lab program are obligated to track their weekly activities in a diary. The data for this research is based on the 'Next step'-question and concerns what tasks are planned for the coming weeks. The weekly diaries are quantified using a coding scheme and are compared to the findings of the Evaluation form. This Evaluation form has a number of performance indicators that are used to identify Entrepreneurial success. The performance indicators are based on the dimensions Confidence, Progress and Approach. The performance data is quantitative and is compared with the quantified Planning dimensions. First the data is coded into groups that makes comparison between high and low rated entrepreneurs clearer. The comparison is performed by use of a Kruskal Wallis analyzes, which indicates significant differences found between high, middle and low rated performance groups. The findings surrounding Planning Progress indicate that only a small number of relations can be confirmed. This is not substantial enough to indicate that Planning Progress positively influences Entrepreneurial Performance. The statement based on the influence Planning Precision has on Entrepreneurial success, can only partially be supported. Although relations are found with every performance indicating dimension, it is not the case with all the performance variables. The dimension External Orientation as mentioned before is a twofold dimension, the results focused outside the program also show a partial confirmation, support is again found in all performance indicating dimension but not with all performance variables. The second part of the External Orientation dimension that focuses on the Venture Lab program did not find support in all dimensions. Although the findings weakly support the theoretical framework, the evidence is not found to be substantial enough to fully confirm the hypotheses. Having the opportunity to alter the performance indicators may prove to be insightful in supporting the partially confirmed hypotheses.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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