Original Research

Adaptation and fixation in entrepreneurial approaches of a dental laboratory

Cornelia M. Ferreira, Jan P. Grundling
Acta Commercii | Vol 14, No 1 | a188 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v14i1.188 | © 2014 Cornelia M. Ferreira, Jan P. Grundling | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 March 2013 | Published: 19 August 2014

About the author(s)

Cornelia M. Ferreira, Business School, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Jan P. Grundling, Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa


Orientation: This study described the adaptation and fixation processes implemented by a small business entrepreneur in order to cope with changing market circumstances.

Research purpose: The study described how the dental laboratory adapted its entrepreneurial approaches over time in response to critical changes that occurred and how aspects in the managerial approach became fixated and proved to be essential to success.

Motivation for the study: The study provided insight into how the dental laboratory transformed into a stable and prosperous laboratory by the integration of strategic, economic, cultural and social capital through a process of business decision making.

Research design, approach and method: A cohort survey research design, based upon the compilation of longitudinal data over three selected time periods, was employed. The design of the measuring instruments and the interpretation of research results were derived from an adapted entrepreneurial-in-network theoretical framework. A triangulation data compilation approach was followed.

Main findings: The results revealed that cultural capital in the dental laboratory became fixated on three value principles, whilst the other critical capitals prescribed exist in sufficient volumes and improve to adapt to changing circumstances in the dental market.

Practical/managerial implications: Fixated cultural values acted as a ‘parent’-actor in order to guide the righteousness of behaviour, whereas adaptation required sufficient critical capitals and the proper integration thereof.

Contribution/value-added: By adopting the entrepreneurship-in-network approach, the researchers incorporated the dynamic and interactive processes of entrepreneurship. Future studies may employ the same design and use multi-varied analyses to show how a business adapt or fixate its approaches in response to crises or changes in the business environment.


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