Home Concepts Organizational Theory Theory E²: Working with Entrepreneurial Professionals in Closely-Held Enterprises

Theory E²: Working with Entrepreneurial Professionals in Closely-Held Enterprises

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Entrepreneurship is needed in the postmodern reality of 21st Century life—and is particularly needed by professionals who face a rapidly changing landscape in their own field of practice. The “enterprise zone,” which got so much press (at least in the United States) during the 1990s, must be defined in a new way, engaging an entrepreneurial spirit to courageously and effectively address the postmodern challenges of complexity, unpredictability and turbulence. Organizational coaches can play an important role in meeting the distinctive challenges associated with entrepreneurial leadership in closely held professional enterprises. What are these challenges and how might an organizational coach help a professional entrepreneur meet these challenges? Furthermore, what are the unique challenges that the organizational coach faces when working with entrepreneurs in closely held professional enterprises?

The Closely Held Enterprise

Before identifying and describing these challenges, we must indicate what a “closely held enterprise” is—given that this is not yet a commonly used term. We propose that there are four types of organizations that fit in this category. While we will be focusing on only one of these four types (Type Three: The Professional Practice) it is important to recognize that there are three other types that share much in common with one another:

Type One/The Family-Owned Business: single person ownership, immediate family ownership, extended family ownership, corporate stock held exclusively by family members (for example, a large family-owned insurance company, a major automobile dealership, a high-status restaurant chain).

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