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This essay analyzed and discussed the result from an ethnographic study of small and medium enterprises, identifying the outcome of innovative behavior and culture of customers, manager and employer using social capital theory to identify innovative behavior and culture in small and medium enterprises. This easy will present several practical observations and experience in the ethnographic study carried out related to small and medium enterprises. The structure of the essay will be divided into 4 -4 phase. The first phase talks about the small and medium enterprises, the second phase discussed the social capital theory which is specialized on innovative behavior and culture, the third phase discussed and talked about my ethnographic studies carried out on the Bradford ice skating arena and the fourth phase analyzes the social capital theory in relation to small and medium enterprise and ethnographic study carried out and finally a conclusion.
The backbone of every economic growth in every country is considered to be small and medium enterprises. For the purpose of our study it is important to identify the meaning of small and medium enterprises and the influence and impact on innovative behavior and culture on SME's. Small and medium enterprises are flexible in decision makings because they are small in nature. They add in providing the following opportunity to the economy such as they act has an Important sources of employment, particularly low-skilled labor, source of linkages that strengthen national economic vitality, More flexibility and innovative capacity as a whole than large corporations a decline in the poverty rate of a country, provision of goods and services to the economy and the nation has a whole. In relation to small and medium enterprise they are quick and fast to respond to problems and provides proper solution, this is due to a smaller chain of command.
Raman (2001) defines small and medium enterprises as a number of factors and criteria which includes the following, size, structure, sales volume, age, location, numbers of employee, ownership through technology and innovation. In the view of (Chiarvesio et al 2004) that most important firm is characterized by dynamic strategic behavior in terms of relationship management with market, suppliers, ability to manage business networks and innovation. SMEs cannot avoid the modern global economy and its demand for innovative business as a precondition for competitiveness. Given their small size and related group of professionals, making SME successful must be considered as innovation-invention-diffusion process that tackles: the businesses mix of the given size, the SME as an entrepreneurial achievement, and entity of values, culture, ethics, and norms. Hence, values, culture, ethics, norms of owners, entrepreneurs, SME's members must also be innovated along with their knowledge.
As stated previously this study will use social capital theory as the means to identify some factors that is related to innovative behavior and culture of the employee, managers, customers, organizational structure of small and medium enterprises. Subramaniam and Youndt (2005), views innovative behavior as understanding management process that involves recognizing a problem, creating solutions for the problem and creating support for the solutions. Firms can send signals to their employees about its aspiration to encourage an innovative behavior or culture. For example, innovative behavior which is encouraged and developed through the socialization of workplace social network members is rooted within the shared values, systems and beliefs of the organization. Martin and Terblanche (2003), for innovative behavior to be encouraged, the organization must first demonstrate and establish that they value innovative shared values, systems and beliefs (Dobni 2008). If employees perceive the organization to value such behavior, they will strive to be innovative. Previous research concerning innovative behavior generally is extensive because the term innovation plays a vital role in gaining competitive advantage (Cooper, 1998; Janssen, 2005; Kleysen and Street, 2001). Nevertheless researcher work on innovative behavior in different services department has received less attention from various scholars (Oke 2007). Currently there has been various research concerning different factors of innovative behaviors of customers, employees, organization and managers. For instance as identified by (Coakes and Smith 2007) that innovative behavior can be facilitated and supported by innovation "champions". They further explain that innovative champions posses a natural motivation to innovate. In addition they are experts in their work sector and are able to help support innovative behavior within the organization and build their reputation (Coakes and Smith, 2007).
Innovative champion was previously explain by (shame 1994) where he suggest that it is someone that partake in personal risks and protect the success of an idea, to overcome opposition and obstacles in relation to that personal idea. He also identified four major characteristics of innovative champion. First, innovative champion tries to remove its self from existing norms, secondly, use a loose mechanism to protect its activities, thirdly, innovative champion seek out and gathers good information and finally innovative champion makes the best decision at the appropriate time.
There are no single definition or true meanings of culture and often debated and there are many definitions that exist for culture in academic literature. One of the most recognized definitions of culture is by (Schiem 1984), where he explains that culture is the pattern of valid, learned and shared assumptions, which are taught to new groups as the best way to perceive, think and feel. Likewise, (Chusmir and Koberg 1987), suggest that culture is the construction of collective altitudes, assumptions, believes that emanates the standard behavior of a firm. Culture could also be describe in another may as a shared perception of feelings, bonds, thoughts that motivates employees, customers, owners, general public (Hargie and Mcaleese 2004).For the purpose of our study an innovative culture can be considered as a new attitudes, beliefs, supports and facilitate innovation. It is possible for organization to send signs to their staff about its desire to promote an innovative culture if it is profitable to the organization
In the identification of social capital theory in small and medium enterprises an ethnographic study was carried out, which result to innovative behavior and culture of customers, employee and organizational environment. O'Riell (2005), suggest that ethnographic study assist co - dependent, inductive and iterative approach to how information is been collected. Ethnographic study has become more research instruments, their experiences, cultural, behavior, and interpretation of the social and economic aspects that influence the research setting as suggested by (Schultz 2000). However our study focus on the innovative behavior and culture which was drawn from social capital theory, this innovative behavior aims at real common assumptions and understandings while generating evidence that can be sign of phenomena under observations (Bartunek and Seo 2001).For further understanding of this essay data from multiple source which involve the observation of employee interaction, dressing code, manners, innovative behavior and organizational structure. The raw fact of this information was written down and it was analyzed by codes (Gold 1997). The outcome of this essay was innovative behavior and culture using social capital theory in a small and medium enterprises.
My ethnographic study was on Bradford skating arena a small and medium enterprise, where people come to skate, while to some others they come for leisure and fun. It is a small and medium enterprise owned by a group of directors, who manages, supervises day to day activities of the enterprises and as well as come up with new innovations and ideas.
On entering the Bradford skating arena I met two hockey teams playing the ice hockey game on the ice ring. They were mainly children from 10-14 with each team wearing its own different uniform and jersey shirt, apparently each team wore separate jersey shirt colour's such as blue and red respectively.
I noticed the ice ring had fencing wire otherwise known has a barbed wire to protect an act has a protection to the ice skaters and stand by watchers outside the ice ring Few minutes after the hockey ice game was over the instructor made an announcement for those who desire to join the evening disco session ice skating should go queue outside the ice ring towards the entrance of the building to pay for our ticket and go to the collection point for our skate shoe. The queue was a bit long, probably because it was a Saturday, after the long wait on the queue, it finally got to my turn since I came with a friend, we both paid for our ticket and went to the collection point for our skate shoe. However, been my first time coming to skating arena I had a little challenge putting on the skating shoe and so had to get help from the staffs, finally, I was ready to skate. On walking to the skating arena, I noticed the atmosphere was a bit different, the disco lights were turned on and a loud disco music was playing at the background which made the ice skaters to move and skate according to the rhythm of the music been played.
There was full of excitement in the air, I saw a lot of happy people and happy faces wearing colourful clothing's and accessories skating happily and having fun. People mostly wore casuals clothing such has leggings, tight fitting, flexible pants and while others wore a skirt with skin-colored tights pants. It was a mixture of different arrays of culture, background and custom, language and social status.
Majority the staffs were putting on same dress code ,while most of the staff were putting on additional costume to make their clothing appear more attractive and eye catching, for instance there was a particular male staff who was wearing an attractive diamond skate shoe in the ice ring, which created some sort of attention to him because most of the skaters on the ring went to skate along with him. while most of the staffs were equally skating and watching out for any emergency and ensuring that the safety precaution implemented by the organization are regarded by the skaters.
Furthermore, I noticed most people on the ice ring were very good at skating, there kept coming up with their own different styles and innovations, such has toe jumps, edge jumps, rotation and combination, spin, lifts etc, while others were averagely good and equally watching and learning from those who were better off than they are and others like myself who are beginners kept watching and holding on the fence around the ice ring.
After several hours of skating and falling I finally got tired and went to take a seat outside the ring with my friend who accompanied me to the skating arena.
Has soon as I got seated the music stopped and the instructor announced that there was going to be a brief competition before the close of time for those experts who knows how to skate and have got different talents and new innovative styles, so has to add glamour to the day.
At the end of the competition a winner was picked and it was a young lady of about 20 years old there off, full of excitement and joy.
The observation from our ethnographic study provides greater insight into the development of the innovative behavior and culture of small and medium enterprises. The observation of this study identifies different numbers of gaps emergent within innovative literature. From our ethnographic where there people mostly wore casuals clothing such has leggings tight fitting, flexible pants. While others wore a skirt with skin-colored tights pants. It was a mixture of different arrays of culture, background and custom, language and social status. As suggested by (Scoot and Bruce 1998) innovative culture in an organization should be that value added, and further suggested that any organization that value innovative culture should have a high amount of innovative employees than other organizations, this leads us to the situation of where the staff where putting on same dress code, some of the staff put on additional costume to make their dress more superior than some, for instance there was a particular male that wearing a diamond shoe which was eye catching and so created some sort of attention to him This innovative culture that exists between the staff foundation that fosters an environmental facilitates to a positive experiences of trust designed to develop workplace attraction. Therefore this increases an employee's performance appraisal and also develops their innovative behavior.
The social capital theory summaries the recorded behaviors and cultures of employees, customers, manager for the organization to continue to exist in the future time. Furthermore, I noticed most people on the ice ring were very good at skating, there kept coming up with their own different styles and innovations, such has toe jumps, edge jumps, rotation and combination, spin, lifts etc while others were averagely good and equally watching and learning from those who were better off than they are and others like myself are beginners kept watching and holding on the fence around the ice ring.
Furthermore, (peter and waterman 1982) suggest that innovative behavior and culture is the harnessing of changing new ability within people and workforce in response to change. This could be further explain with our ethnographic study where I noticed most people on the ice ring are very good at skating, there kept coming up with their own different styles and innovations, such has toe jumps, edge jumps, rotation and combination, spin, lifts etc, while others were averagely good and equally watching and learning from those who were better off than they are and others like myself are beginners kept watching and holding on the fence around the ice ring. In every innovative behavior or culture the central role of individual is to ensure that there is continuity in everything they do (Schmindt 1990). This could be related to all what I noticed from my ethnographic study such as, the atmosphere was a bit different, the disco lights were turned on and a loud disco music was playing at the background which made the ice skaters to move and skate according to the rhythm of the music been played.
In conclusion, this essay used social capital theory as a means to identify the relationship that exists in small and medium enterprises using some organizational factors of innovative behavior and culture to discuss our ethnographic studies. In addition the outcomes suggest that the innovative culture of an employee or is positively related to the innovative behavior of poses in the work environment. This means that, if there is an increase development in organizational culture towards supporting the innovative behavior and culture of an employee's it will result to new knowledge in the management discipline (Dobni 2008) suggests.