Original Research

Technology and entrepreneurial orientation at the organisational level in the Johannesburg area

Boris Urban
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 8, No 1 | a212 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v8i1.212 | © 2010 Boris Urban | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 April 2009 | Published: 25 May 2010

About the author(s)

Boris Urban, Wits Business School, University of Witwatersrand


Orientation: The 21st century is tilting towards an economy that is primarily driven by technology and knowledge, where entrepreneurs have to recognise and anticipate high-technology opportunities so as to join the ranks of future entrepreneurial leaders.

Research purpose: This study examines entrepreneurship and its relation with technology, which is often conceptualised as entrepreneurial orientation (EO) and technology orientation (TO). The study is further contextualised by measuring environmental dynamism and hostility.

Motivation for the study: Despite the weight of positive empirical findings and observations that EO and TO are strategic imperatives, there is a danger that firms in Africa are lagging behind and subsequently a study of this nature aids in understanding these imperatives.

Research design, approach and method: A survey is used to collect data from a population of diverse businesses in the Johannesburg area (n = 1600), yielding a sample of 236 firms. Instruments were subjected to principal component factor analysis and descriptive statistics were calculated. The hypotheses were tested using correlational analysis, with their significance reported in terms of Pearson correlation coefficients.

Main finding: Findings reveal significant correlations between EO and environment hostility and dynamism, but not between EO and TO.

Practical and managerial implications: The study offers some solutions towards understanding how TO and EO may promote firm innovation, which encourages the diffusion, adoption and application of the very latest technologies. This is particularly relevant in cases where a lot of potential exists in developing countries to ‘import and adapt’ technologies developed in industrialised countries.

Contribution of study: Research on firm innovation in the African context may be considered valuable, as very few empirical studies that have been conducted previously focus on innovation and technology in the context of an emerging country.


Entrepreneurship; technology; environment; hostility; dynamism


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