Developing Entrepreneurial Competencies

The competency results in superior performance. This is exhibited by one’s distinct behaviour in different situations. The popular Kakinada experience conducted by McClelland and winter (1969) has proved beyond doubt that the entrepreneurial competency can be injected and developed in human minds through proper education and training. Competency finds expression in human behaviour.

How to develop and sharpen the entrepreneurial competency is suggested in the following method or procedure consisting of four steps:

  1. Competency Identification and Recognition
  2. Competency Assessment
  3. Competency Mapping
  4. Development Intervention

A brief description about each of these follows in turn:

1. Competency Identification and Recognition:

Acquisition of a new behaviour like entrepreneurial behaviour begins with understanding, identifying and recognizing of what entrepreneurial behaviour means. In other words, the first step involved in developing the entrepreneurial competency is first to identify and recognize the set of competencies required to effectively behave like an entrepreneur.

2. Competency Assessment:

Once the set of competencies is identified and recognized to behave like an entrepreneur, the next step is now to see what entrepreneurial competencies the person actually possesses. In other words, the actual competencies possessed by an entrepreneur are examined against the required set of competencies to effectively behave or act like an entrepreneur.

Where one stands with respect to a set of required competencies to act like an entrepreneur or what is the level of one’s competence can be ascertained by asking the relevant questions to a competence.

3. Competency Mapping:

Now, the actual competencies possessed by an entrepreneur are compared with the competencies required to become a successful entrepreneur to ascertain the gap in the entrepreneurial competencies of an entrepreneur (Cooper 2000). This is called in the human resource training and development lexicon as ‘Competency Mapping.’ In other words, this is just like ‘training needs identification’ in case of HR training.

This is presented as follows:


A popular performance tool used to map the (entrepreneurial) competency is based on “Skill to Do / Will to Do’ chart.”Skill to Do’ refers to the entrepreneur’s / individual’s ability to do the job and to Do’ refers to the entrepreneur’s individual’s desire or motivation to do the job.

In other words, the ‘Ability to Do / No Ability to Do’ dimension of this comes within the purview of the “Entrepreneurial Competence’ and the “Will to Do /No Will to Do’ dimension comes within the purview of the ‘Entrepreneurial Commitment.’

This may result in four possible situations as shown in the following Figure 11.2:


These four situations mean the following:

(A) Ability to Do / Will to Do:

Among all four situations, this is the ideal one. The entrepreneur is fully able, i.e. qualified and is performing his job as designed and desired. He is supposed to be star or ideal performer as an entrepreneur.

(B) No Ability to Do / Will to Do:

In this situation, the entrepreneur is putting out his efforts to perform the job, but is not getting the desired results out of his efforts. It means he is lacking ability or skill to perform the job. Thus, it implies that the entrepreneur needs training, or say, ‘competency building.

(C) Ability to Do / No Will to Do:

Here, the entrepreneur is qualified or possesses the ability to do his job but is not willing to perform the same. This implies the lack of desire or motivation. Thus, the entrepreneur needs to be motivated to perform his job.

(D) No Ability to Do / No Will to Do:

The entrepreneur has deficiency in both ability and will (motivation). In a sense, he is just like deadwood and his entrepreneurial job is in jeopardy. Thus, the entrepreneur either needs to continue like this or disappear from the entrepreneurial role.

4. Development Intervention:

After understanding, internalising and practicing a particular behaviour or competence, one needs to make an introspection of the same in order to sharpen and strengthen one’s competency. This is called ‘feedback’.

In simple terms, feedback means to know the strengths and weaknesses of one’s new behaviour. This helps one know how the new behaviour has been rewarding. This enables one to sustain or give up the exhibition of a particular behaviour or competence in his future life.

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