Entrepreneurship Assignment: Evaluation Of Corporate Entrepreneurial Performance Of JD.com
Entrepreneurship Assignment Description
Select an organization (JD.com, China's largest online retailer) you believe to be an example of a corporate entrepreneurship success story or failure. Using the diagnostic framework of entrepreneurial practices, Mosey et al, (2017, p120), conduct an evaluation of the corporate entrepreneurship performance of this organisation over the last 5 years (approx 1000 words).
Within this section you should:
Give an overview of the innovative performance of the firm over the last 5 years.
If the firm is multinational or multi-divisional, justify a focus upon one country and / or division. Present a diagnosis of the entrepreneurial practices for that 5-year period:
Explain whether existing capabilities can deliver appropriate types of innovation.
Explain how people are recruited and rewarded for entrepreneurship.
Explain how innovation challenges are identified.
Explain how entrepreneurship is practised with external stakeholders.
Building upon your diagnosis, design a corporate entrepreneurship change programme for this organisation (approx 500 words).
Consider one area where your organisation’s practices have historically underperformed and explain how these practices could be improved, removed or performed in a different way.
Be written for a senior manager from that firm to act upon.
Build upon relevant sources of evidence such as the result of your diagnostic, approaches used by comparator firms and research from empirical journal articles and reputable online sources.
The total word limit for the coursework is 1,500 words.
About the Organisation
The organisation chosen here is JD.com, Inc. which is the largest online Chinese retailer. The organisation is a perfect example of corporate entrepreneurial success story. In thisentrepreneurship assignment, the entrepreneurial practices based on the diagnostic framework will be presented. The evaluation of the corporate entrepreneurial performance of JD.com over the last five years will be conducted. JD.com is also known as Jingdong, which was earlier known as 360buy. This Chinese company operates in the e-commerce sector with its headquarters in Beijing (Zheng, Zhang & Song, 2020).
JD.com has been operating successfully in the field of online retaining due to its constant innovation and diversification. The company kept updating itself in terms of expanding product range, enhancing their online platform for better shopping experience, etc. JD.com has been evolving over the last five years. They have invested heavily in technology and research. The company has invested in artificial intelligence and high tech through autonomous technology, drones and robots. JD.com also operates with the largest system of drone delivery. Through the implementation of these latest technologies the company has been growing. JD.com has been able to emerge as one of the two biggest online retailers of China due to its huge development through innovation (Liu et al, 2020). JD.com has also been able to grow in the last five years as their infrastructure has supported their innovations. The company has expanded their capabilities. JD.com has also initiated the application of a robotic delivery system. This system will facilitate delivery through robots. Thus, the service of delivery will become more efficient and effective. The online retailer has also built its drone delivery airport. JD.com is also providing driverless deliveries. They have also introduced the first autonomous truck for delivery services.
As per Butcher (2018), entrepreneurial practices refer to the core practices of entrepreneurship. Few of these practices include the practice of empathy, the practice of play, the practice of creation, the practice of reflection and the practice of experimentation. JD.com has been practising entrepreneurship in a way in which the entrepreneurial goals are achieved. They follow an entrepreneurship framework which outlines or structures the process which could be used for accomplishment of the entrepreneurial objectives through the method of problem solving, brainstorming, validation and idea generation.
(Source: Salamzadeh, Tajpour&Hosseini, 2019)
For accomplishing the entrepreneurial goals, JD.com has modified its direct sales business model. The company controls the overall supply chain, while operates in a marketplace which limits the total number of suppliers. This enables the company to maintain quality oversight strongly. They have also implemented various monitoring methods which can identify the suspicious services or products. Through their entrepreneurial practices they are trying to increase their revenue. The main revenue stream of JD.com is online retail business. The company also generates revenue through the logistic services and advertising (Dong & Ye-liang, 2018). It further provides services to the other third-party vendors operating in the market. The company now focuses on long term strategy rather than day to day business.
Capabilities for Innovation
The competitive advantage of JD.com lies in the fulfilment capacity. The company owns huge self-built fulfilment networks which spread across the nation of China (Xing, 2019). This largest and self-controlled fulfilment infrastructure of JD.com facilitates better delivery services. The company has an added edge over its competitors as it can deliver the merchandise on time, in an intact condition. The infrastructure and innovation support their service delivery. The capabilities are very important for supporting the innovative practices of the company. The infrastructure of JD.com is very strong. It supports their innovations. The company has a sound logistic system which enhances their delivery practices. The innovation capability of JD.com facilitates identification of new ideas and transforms the ideas into new and better services, processes or products. Thus, the existing capabilities of JD.com has been benefiting the company for the last five years. They have used their capabilities to develop their drone delivery system. They have also started their own drone delivery airport using their capabilities (Chan, Chen & Zhao, 2018 ). The company is also working towards robotic delivery services which is supported by its capabilities. However, there is scope for improvement in the capabilities. The expansion of the existing capabilities will facilitate better business for JD.com. The dynamic capabilities are a core aspect to innovation strategy.
Recruitment and Rewarding
The recruitment process in entrepreneurship is very crucial. To recruit the right people, it is important that the entrepreneur defines what exactly is expected out of the recruits. They need to be specific of the expected skills. While working the job role of the employee might change. Therefore, it is important for the entrepreneur to be farsighted enough to see the hidden potential of the candidates being recruited. The entrepreneurs can partner with the good recruiters to enhance the process and execution (Salamzadeh, Tajpour&Hosseini, 2019). The entrepreneur can also use the social media platform if it has good network for the purpose of recruitment. The employees are the backbone for an entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur should not rush through the recruitment process. Instead he/she should invest adequate time before the interview. Rewards encourage the employees to work harder. In an entrepreneurship, the entrepreneur is able to follow his/her passion. At the same time, they make money by being their own boss. Thus, while rewarding the employees in an entrepreneurship, the true essence of entrepreneurship should be encouraged. The employees with entrepreneurial skills should be rewarded. The employees should be given control and freedom of work. The brainstorming ideas and innovations, risk-taking, passion for work, etc. should be rewarded (Nyström, 2021). The reward could be increase in pay or incentives or a share in the company’s profits or a managerial position.
Challenges to Innovation
The major challenges of innovation include an inappropriate innovation strategy. The right innovation is needed for the right place. The other challenge could be lack of empowerment or motivation of the employees to take up innovative practices. The lack of collaboration across the teams could be regressive for innovation (Boon &Edler, 2018). In case the company lacks the right connection with their customers, their innovations will fail to transform into useful products or services. The inadequate funds or weak infrastructure are the other challenges to innovation.
Entrepreneurship with External Stakeholders
Entrepreneurship is supported by external stakeholders. These stakeholders are the people or businesses which are not directly handle the core operations of the business. However, they are important as they impact the actions and the decisions of the business. These external stakeholders include the suppliers of raw materials, creditors supplying financial capital, logistics service providers, advertising partners, etc (Ren & Jackson, 2020). These external stakeholders facilitate the business of entrepreneurs and are an inseparable part of their business.
Entrepreneurship Change Programme
Despite various successful operations undertaken by JD.com, the company has been facing various issues in human resources department during the past five years. It uses the application of both big data and artificial intelligence for determining the tastes and preferences of the customers even before they buy its products (Grigg, 2018). The use of this predictive analytics started in 2018 has been effective in reducing delivery times and improving its services for the customers. However, it has shifted the focus of the HR department of the company from people to data by starting to evaluate the performance of employees with these technologies. The human resources managers have themselves stated the fact about how the company does not rely on the people but on data for making decisions, which shows the preference of machines over employees (Grigg, 2018). This has resulted in maintaining abnormally high standards of performance for the employees that often becomes difficult. Furthermore, JD.com has also been threatening to eliminate its underperforming and overpaid employees that was leaked from an email on the career networking platform named Maimai (Jingli, 2019). The company categorizes employee performance as all out, underperforming and overpaid. It claims in advocating the spirit of entrepreneurship and hard work but the excessive pressure on the employees creates a negative atmosphere in the organization. Here, employees often have long working hours without overtime despite different policies presented under the labour contract (Huang, 2019). Such excessive focus on tasks rather than employee physical and mental wellbeing in this organization can be contributed towards the HR department’s emphasis on data and not people. This is because employees here are merely treated as machines for meeting absurd performance targets, failing to do which might lead to their termination from the company. Thus, it generates negative effects on the employees.
Improvement in practices
It is essential for JD.com to discard such practices hampering the mental and physical wellbeing of the employees and undertake new strategies for improving the workplace environment. In this regard, the first change in the strategy that it needs to undertake is evaluating the performance of the employees not only based on mere data with the help of technologies but also add behavioural context in such evaluation. In this regard, the communication skills, interpersonal and relationship building abilities, leadership, negotiation, conflict management and teamworking skills must also be included in the performance evaluation. This is because an employee’s performance is not only related to meeting objective targets in the organization. Furthermore, it should not set absurd targets for the employees that hamper their mental and physical wellbeing arising from long working hours, stress, burnout and frustration. Instead, achievable and realistic targets must be set for evaluating their performance. Besides, rather than promptly terminating employees who are underperforming, they should be put in a three-months programme of improving their performance where they would be closely monitored. This would provide them with a chance of understanding their areas of weaknesses and accordingly improve their performance.
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