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How entrepreneurial actions transform customer capital through time: Exploring and exploiting knowledge in an open‐mindedness context

Anthony K.P. Wensley (University of Toronto at Mississauga, Mississauga, Canada)
Juan Gabriel Cegarra‐Navarro (Facultad de Ciencias de la Empresa, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Cartagena, Spain)
Gabriel Cepeda‐Carrión (Departamento de Administración de Empresas y Marketing, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain)
Antonio Genaro Leal Millán (Departamento de Administración de Empresas y Marketing, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 29 March 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Today, in small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurs must take a more strategic perspective that is evidenced by the need to scan the enterprise to discover how they might improve customer relations as well as promote improved entrepreneurial actions. The paper aims to focus on this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This study examines the impact of the existence of an “open‐minded context” in an organisation at time (T) on actions that concern the challenging of entrepreneurial actions at time (T+1). It also examines the relationship between explorative and exploitation processes and customer relations. These relationships are examined through an empirical investigation of data obtained from 107 SMEs from the Spanish telecommunications industry, using partial least squares (PLS).

Findings

The results indicate that the effects of an “open‐minded context” at time (T) on customer relations at time (T+1) are mediated through the existence of explorative and exploitation knowledge processes at time (T+1).

Research limitations/implications

Practices which may be based on explicit knowledge or on tacit knowledge in the form of processes and routines need to be challenged prior to the adoption of new knowledge by the organisation. In such situations, it will be necessary to modify or even delete some knowledge in order to ensure that employees have access to the up‐to‐date explorative and exploitative knowledge processes necessary to maintain or enhance customer relations.

Practical implications

In situations where organisations and their members face rapidly changing environments it is necessary to challenge the entrepreneurial actions which have been derived from the founding entrepreneurs.

Originality/value

The paper examines how the nature and existence of an open‐mindedness context is linked to the nature and existence of knowledge exploration and exploitation processes enacted by the workforce of an organisation.

Keywords

Citation

Wensley, A.K.P., Gabriel Cegarra‐Navarro, J., Cepeda‐Carrión, G. and Genaro Leal Millán, A. (2011), "How entrepreneurial actions transform customer capital through time: Exploring and exploiting knowledge in an open‐mindedness context", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 32 No. 1, pp. 132-150. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437721111121279

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited