The Kenyan environment's influence on the emergence and development of corporate entrepreneurship among SMEs

2017-09-07T11:04:43Z (GMT) by Michael Mustafa Mathew Hughes
What environmental factors enable corporate entrepreneurship (CE) among African SMEs. CE helps firms to recognize and exploit new opportunities, and is particularly valuable for forms in turbulent, dynamic, or highly volatile environments of Africa. However, to date there is a dearth of research which considers the unique features of the African environmental context and their influence on the CE. To address this gap in our empirical knowledge, this study draws on Institutional Theory to examine the influence of the external environment on the emergence and development of CE among African SMEs. Given the exploratory nature of the study, a multiple case study approach was adopted. Five SMEs from Kenya's services sector formed the basis for empirical enquiry. Kenyan entrepreneurial attitudes and values along with increasing market and environmental dynamism were found to condition the emergence of CE activities among SMEs, while individual and firm-level networks and social capital, as well as deregulation of the Kenyan environment and government support initiatives were perceived as important factors that facilitate CE among SMEs. The study’s findings enrich our understanding of the contingent nature of entrepreneurial activity, suggesting that African context matters. It also adds to the growing body of literature on the importance of entrepreneurship in Africa.