Embraced Or Dreaded? Study Examines Entrepreneurship In China

By Deborah Austin China's senior executives say encouraging employees' entrepreneurial behavior is crucial for their nation's success, but many appear nervous about giving up control, suggests a survey by management consulting firm Accenture. The study, "Liberating the Entrepreneurial Spirit in China," is part of a three-year Accenture project spanning 26 nations. Of Chinese executives interviewed:

  • 97% say entrepreneurship is important to their organization -- similar to executives' responses globally.
  • 88% say their organization will be more entrepreneurial in three years, compared with the average response globally of 72%.
  • 64% describe their organization as risk averse, versus 42% globally.
  • And 68% say their staff lack entrepreneurial instincts, higher than in nearly all other nations surveyed. Paradoxically, 54% also say employees can be too entrepreneurial.
"With a shift in attitudes toward the private sector and competitive markets, leaders must overcome their aversion to risk," says Gong Li, Accenture's country managing director in China. The survey drew on interviews with 78 executives in China representing a wide range of organizations.
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