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A Phenomenological Study: How Motivation and Creativity Influence Small Internet-entrepreneurs’ Innovations Nate Boyer Oral Defense of Dissertation Research 01/05/11 Doctoral Dissertation Committee: Mentor: Richard Schuttler, Ph. D.,

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slide1

A Phenomenological Study:

How Motivation and Creativity Influence

Small Internet-entrepreneurs’

Innovations

Nate Boyer

Oral Defense of Dissertation Research

01/05/11

Doctoral Dissertation Committee:

Mentor: Richard Schuttler, Ph. D.,

Committee Members: Ann W. Armstrong, Ed.D.and Chris Roberts, Ph. D.

slide2

Background of the Problem

  • Current economic slow down has created a cautious business environment
  • Environment for generating innovations is being questioned
  • Research literature suggested U.S. is losing its ability to innovate to other nations
  • Understanding motivation and creativity processes may help regain leadership role
  • U.S. must overcome economic challenges to regain innovation leadership role
slide3

Background Literature

Motivation

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2006). Self-regulation and the problem of human autonomy: Does psychology need choice, self-determination, and will? Journal of Personality, 74(6), 1557-1586. doi: 1510.1111/j.1467-6494.2006.00420.x.

Creativity

Wallas, G. The Art of Thought. 1926. Jonathan Cape, London, England.

Internet-Entrepreneurship

Batjargal, B. (2007). Internet entrepreneurship: Social capital, human capital, and performance of Internet ventures in China. Research Policy, 36(5), 605-618. doi: 610.1016/j.respol.2006.1009.1029.

Transformational Leadership

Avolio, B. J. (2007). Promoting more integrative strategies for leadership. American Psychologist, 62(1), 25-33. doi: 10.1037/0003-1066X.1062.1031.1025.

Innovation

Chesbrough, H. W., & Garman, A. R. (2009). How open innovation can help you cope in lean times. Harvard Business Review, 87(12), 68-76. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=45361940&site=bsi-live.

Social Networking

Kim, W., Jeong, O.-R., & Lee, S.-W. (2010). On social web sites. Information Systems, 35(2), 215-236. doi: 210.1016/j.is.2009.1008.1003.

Social Media

Correa, T., Hinsley, A. W., & de Zúñiga, H. G. (2010). Who interacts on the Web?: The intersection of users' personality and social media use. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(2), 247-253. doi:210.1016/j.chb.2009.1009.1003.

slide4

Problem Statement

  • Foreign innovations have reduced U.S. competitive advantages
  • Internet-entrepreneurs face increased failure rates
  • Problem a result of poor planning, lack of innovation, and increased competition
slide5

Purpose of the Research

Purpose of qualitative phenomenological study was exploring and describing

motivational and creative experiences of U.S. small business-based

Internet-entrepreneurs to understand the essence of innovation generation.

slide6

Research Questions

  • The first research question was: How does the Internet operating environment
  • influence the motivation process for generating innovations by small
  • Internet-entrepreneurs in central upstate NY?
  • The second research question was: how does the Internet operating environment
  • influence the Wallas (1926) creative problem-solving steps of preparation, incubation,
  • illumination, and verification in generating innovations for small
  • Internet-entrepreneurs in central upstate NY?
slide7

Data Collection

  • The instrument of data collection was a face-to-face critical incident technique interview
  • that used semi-structured open-ended questions to solicit participant perceptions
  • A pre-interview data form with demographic questions was distributed in advance
  • Interview questions were tested in a pilot interview
  • Study participants were found using a snowball sampling technique
  • Achieved data saturation after interviewing 17 participants
slide8

Emergent Themes

  • Motivation – desire to exert entrepreneurial effort for creating a product/service
  • Creativity - Generating novel and useful ideas using the Internet
  • Internet-Entrepreneurship – using the Internet to sell products/services
  • Transformational Leadership - a vision and the ability to persuade others to adopt that vision
  • Innovation - creating something new
  • Social Networking - is a tool and a utility for connecting with others
  • Social Media – a strategy that facilitate sharing of information, an outlet
slide9

Conceptual Framework

  • Places the study in perspective among other relevant studies and describes the
  • important issues, perspectives, and controversies in the field under investigation.
  • Many scholarly studies focused on large and medium sized Internet-entrepreneurs
  • Unable to find any studies focused on smaller Internet-entrepreneurial businesses
  • Literature scarcity may be a result of high small business failure rates, difficulty in
  • verifying information, and the home-based nature of many Internet-entrepreneurs.
  • Need new investigation of U.S. small business-based Internet-entrepreneurs
slide10

Methodology

  • Qualitative versus quantitative design
  • Phenomenological
  • Exploration and description of study participants lived innovation experiences
slide11

Findings

  • Motivation for innovations were driven by freedom to work on projects they developed
  • No two participants arrived at creative decision in the same way
  • Internet-entrepreneurship knowledge gap/business opportunity first, Internet focus second
  • While participants were aware of problem solving software none had used it
  • All participants claimed to have one or more transformational leadership characteristics
  • Participants suggested social networking paid quantitative and qualitative benefits
  • Participants agreed using social media helped gain access to more and better information
  • Potential to provide U.S. small Internet-entrepreneurial market a competitive advantage
slide12

Assumptions

  • Study participants provide honest and open responses to all interview questions - design
  • Participants were Internet-based entrepreneurial businesses - scope
  • Participant businesses generated less than $1 million in annual revenue
  • Businesses in operation for less than 5 years, employs 10 or fewer employees
  • Participants generated at least one innovation for their business -
  • Participants were headquartered in the Syracuse, NY metro area – geographic location
  • Past ownership and Internet-based business consulting could create bias - Bracketing
slide13

Limitations and Delimitations

  • Limited to participants who volunteered by way of a referral – snowball sampling
  • Limited to participants18 years old or older
  • Limited to semi-structured open-ended, critical incident interviews
  • Study results not generalizable as a consequence of small number of participants
  • Reliability of the data was limited to the honesty and memory of the participants
  • Participants self-reported therefore, results were not based on specific measurable performance criteria, limiting the reliability of the data
  • Delimited to interviewing small business-based Internet-entrepreneurs
slide14

Implications for Leadership

  • A potential leadership benefit associated with the research is obtaining a better
  • understanding of Internet-entrepreneurs’ social networking strategies and how
  • leadership opportunities are presented to study participants at local levels
  • Innovations were often found to be an ability to solve old and new problems by
  • looking at the problem differently and using visionary leadership skills, social
  • networking and social media in the process.
  • From a leadership perspective, the study is important in helping current and future
  • researchers, economists, and business leaders understand how Internet-entrepreneurs’
  • innovations may influence global competitiveness.
  • Entrepreneurs respond to leadership opportunities within a specific discipline in local,
  • national and, international entrepreneurial social networking organizations.
slide15

Recommendations for Managers

  • Results of this study could act as a starting point for:
  • Use advanced problem solving tools provided by other organizations
  • Internet-entrepreneurs' use of dominant leadership strategies
  • Use mixed method approach to explore the impact of social media and social networking
  • Explore tool adoption rate of U.S. businesses versus international businesses
  • Longitudinal study monitoring small business-based Internet-entrepreneurs over time
  • Selecting one advance problem tool and comparing it to others over time
slide16

Recommendations for Future Research

  • Leaders initiate discussions with government, non-profit, and academic organizations
  • Government acquire advanced problem solving tools on behalf of Internet-entrepreneurs
  • Industry leaders focus on using non-profit entities to assist Internet-entrepreneurs
  • Industry leaders focus on using academic entities to assist Internet-entrepreneurs
slide17

Recommendations for Future Research

  • A fourth recommendation for future research would be to explore why there is such a
  • dearth of U.S.-based and focused scholarly peer-reviewed literature available on the
  • subject of small Internet-entrepreneurs.
  • A fifth research recommendation for the future is to conduct a longitudinal study that
  • monitors small-Internet-entrepreneurs over time.
  • Researchers may want to consider replicating this study with a greater focus on a
  • specific advanced problem solving tool such as TRIZ, or some other creative
  • problem solving software
slide18

Reflections

  • Participants were excited about their prospects for the future
  • Social networking and social media were important components of success in the future
  • While a majority of participants were service oriented the types of business were diverse
  • Participants believed they were entrepreneurs first and Internet-entrepreneurs secondarily
  • Study data collection processes could have been improved
  • Transcript review, analysis, and summarization more time consuming than anticipated
slide19

Study Conclusions

  • Innovation played a major role in all of their past and present business plans
  • The Internet is so new businesses need to be motivated, creative, and innovative to succeed
  • Most study participants said they were entrepreneurs first and the Internet was secondary
  • Participants viewed the Internet as making them more efficient
  • Most participants had service oriented businesses
  • Ability to think creatively played a major role in participants ability to be innovative
  • Most participants believed their personal leadership characteristics included high
  • expectations, selecting good people to work with and finding people with a similar vision
slide20

Study Conclusions

  • Participants were divided on whether they were creative
  • Participants believed customer service was the most important factor for success
  • Online and offline networking helped make them successful online
  • No two participants used the same process to generate an innovation
  • Participants used multiple methods to generate innovations
  • Generating and income played some role in generating an innovation
  • Creativity was a major factor in remaining competitive on the Internet
  • Understanding and using social networking and social media was critical to business success
slide21

Study Conclusions

  • Important success characteristics included increased and consistent website traffic,
  • social media utilization, and understanding how use social networking for their business
  • Being innovative means something different to each participant
  • Internet operating environment has potential to speed up the decision making process
  • Internet has the potential to complicate an entrepreneurs’ preparation, incubation,
  • illumination, and verification processes when comes to making a decision
  • Participants believe Internet-entrepreneurship is a new discipline
  • Internet-entrepreneurs use intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to help in the creative
  • development of new products and services.
  • Innovations were often found to be an ability to solve old and new problems by looking
  • at the problem differently and using visionary leadership skills, social networking and
  • social media in the process.