R&P số 9 - Competencies for VIetnames emtrepreneurs (Nguyen Quoc Tuan, 2021)

Thứ hai - 08/06/2020 23:39

COMB 2021   Background COMB2021

COMB 2021 Background COMB2021
R&P: Nghiên cứu khoa học, là diễn đàn chia sẻ quan điểm, ý tưởng khoa học và công bố các kết quả nghiên cứu khoa học (Reseach and Pubbication - R&P). R&P số 9 công bố kế quả nghiên cứu năng lực cho các nhà khởi nghiệp. Nghiên cứu được báo cáo tại Hội nghị khoa học quốc tế Quản trị và Kinh doanh COMB2021. Tác giả tham gia báo cáo online tại Session 4A: Management - Strategy. Kỷ yếu hội thảo truy cập tại đây: http://due.udn.vn/vi-vn/tintuc/tintucchitiet/id/14485


Nguyen Quoc Tuan

University of Economics - The University of Danang


The article analyzes a role of competencies for startup success, identifies key competencies and its components. Correlation and reliability analysis methods are based on the application of analytical techniques of R software 3.3.3. Two critical competencies for entrepreneurial success have been identified: professional competence and behavioral competence. The study also identified the components of competencies critical to startup success. The components of the professional competence are production management, human resource management, strategy and entrepreneurship. The components of behavioral competencies are creativity, communication, self-motivation, entrepreneurial spirit and leadership.

Keywords: competence, professional competence, behavioral competence, entrepreneuship, entrepreneurial competence, entrepreneurial spirit, successful start-up.

  1. Introduction

Entrepreneurship is an activity that creates economic efficiency, increases the competitiveness of the economy, creates new business values, and has a positive and creative approach to solving employment problems related social issues.

The desire of entrepreneurs, especially young startups, who have enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit but have not been experienced, is that they need to be aware, what conditions, especially in particular, entrepreneurs need to have start-up capabilities, ie what competencies and qualities to start a successful business.

For education and training institutions, the determination of entrepreneurial competencies is the basis for designing appropriate training programs to develop a future entrepreneurs.

There have been studies around the world on the factors affecting the success of startups (Hardeep Kaur and Anupama, 2013; Morteza RezaeidZadeh, 2016; Thomas et al., 2008; Rosemary Fissher et al., 2014), thereby identifying the core competencies for startup success. Studies have identified the key competencies for startup success such as problem solving, creativity, motivation, and leadership, which are the basis for designing training programs for managers and start-ups.

In Vietnam, there have been studies to determine the factors affecting entrepreneurship and to serve as a basis for training entrepreneurship in universities of economics and business administration in Vietnam (Nguyen Son Tung, 2019; Pham Quang Tin, 2021; Nguyen Quoc Tuan & Ngo Xuan Thuy, 2019). These studies contribute to determining the factors affecting the intention to start a business and the contents that need to be considered when designing training programs in universities of economics and business administration in Vietnam, but not yet focuses on answering the question, how the competence factors that the training programs on business administration and entrepreneurship, really affect career success. Therefore, the author conducts research to determine, among the competencies trained for current business administration programs in Vietnam, which factors are the influencing factors for startup success. The research results help designers of business administration training programs and training and competntence development institutions identify the content that needs to be designed for training entrepreneurs.

  1. Theoretical framework

The concept of competence today has become a topical and practical topic in social and life activities and is a topic of interest to human resource management theorists, popular when it comes to jobs  recruitment, performance appraisal, staff promotion.

David Dubois and William Rothwwell (2004) define competencies as "characteristics that an individual possesses and uses in an appropriate manner to achieve desired results. These characteristics include knowledge, skills, self-perception, personal characteristics, motivations, conception patterns, and ways of thinking, feeling, and acting”. Vo Xuan Tien (2010) said that the competence of the employee "is reflected in the knowledge, skills, behavior and attitude of that employee and for each job goal, a certain type of capacity is needed".

There are different definitions of competence, but the most common one is defined as a combination of knowledge, skills, qualities, attitudes and appropriate personal characteristics for an individual to be effective and excel in getting the job done. The concept of competence can refer to a specific type of competence such as creativity, communication, entrepreneurial spirit.

In the training program of the Faculty of Business Administration, University of Economics, graduates can work professionally and advance as a business administrator in business organizations and programs as well designed so that graduates can pursue a career path by starting a business, i.e. becoming an entrepreneur. A startup is a person who stands up on his own or in conjunction with other startups to organize and carry out business activities. In order to fully understand the concept of an entrepreneur, it is necessary to consider not only the fact that they are the ones who do start-up activities, but also define them as people who have the ability to start a business and are motivated. Entrepreneurial drive, determination for entrepreneurship, as defined by Albadri and Nasereddin (2019), entrepreneurs are people with ambition, strong determination, innovative spirit, creativity and dare to take risks to start a business.

Entrepreneurial competence
Hardeep Kaur and Anupama (2013) define entrepreneurial competence as the personal characteristics of entrepreneurs. The proceeding of the Scientific Seminar on Small and Medium Enterprises in Mexico (2018) states that entrepreneurship is a combination of creativity, a sense of initiative, problem solving, the ability to mobilize resources and tecnological knowledge.

In this study, the author defines entrepreneurial competence based on the firstly from the concept of competence, secondly expanding the concept to refer to the characteristics of the entrepreneur and thirdly, that is entrepreneurship refers to the successful start-up, achieving the desired results of the entrepreneur. Thus, entrepreneurship is defined as any ability factors and personal characteristics for an entrepreneur to achieve success in starting and developing a business.

Morteza RezaeidZadeh and authors (2016), based on a study in Ireland and Iran, identified four core competencies for successful startups, namely, interpersonal skills, and motivation, productive thinking and leadership. Thomas et al. (2008) have identified a portfolio of successful entrepreneurial competencies, demonstrating its correlation to factors measuring business success. Entrepreneurial competencies are defined as analytical thinking, innovation, human resource competency, strategic thinking, learning and operational competencies.

Successful start-up
Research on entrepreneurship needs to pay attention to two main aspects, which are the factors of entrepreneurial competence or related from the perspective of the entrepreneur as well as factors from the enterprise, from the business environment, technology and the second is from the perspective of concepts and ways for businesses to operate effectively, which is called a successful startup.

Start-up success can be understood as the success of a start-up business, through financial indicators such as investment efficiency, sales, productivity, or market indicators that the entrepreneur has desire in business. However, business and entrepreneurship can be different in that the entrepreneur's point of view of success may not only be the efficiency of the business but in other aspects from the entrepreneur's assessment. Therefore, Rosemary Fissher and the authors (2014) have developed the scales according to the cognitive approach of entrepreneurs, which is about personal satisfaction in life and business; get what you want in life and business; continuously develop personal business and to achieve goals in at least one business area.

  1. Research method

On the basis of synthesizing research materials, identify the competencies and develop the definition and description of the required competencies for successful start-ups and describe the concept of successful start-ups by statements and next steps conduct a survey to evaluate startups. Entrepreneurs in this study included people who started their own businesses or invested in a business.

Survey data, through the level of competence and start-up success, measure the correlation coefficient between the variables measuring the competence with the variable measuring the start-up success, determining the group of competencies that have the potential to be successful more effective, thereby identifying the core competencies for startup success.

The total number of respondents is 122 entrepreneurs, including 62 men (50.8%), 60 women (49.2%), with different fields of activity (Table 1).

Table 1. Survey object's business field

Business field


Percent (%)




Travel services



Food Processing

Health, education

Finance, banking










Source: survey’s data

The analysis techniques are performed through the techniques and commands of the data analysis software R 3.3.3. Specifically, through data statistics and correlation analysis and reliability analysis, the key competencies for startup success have been identified. Analytical data is used as a basis for evaluating and proposing practical solutions in developing entrepreneurial competence.

  1. Analysis and research results

The study used the entrepreneurial competence framework, which includes four types of competencies, including professional competence, behavioral competence, English language competence, and technology and information competence.

The professional competencies include the core competencies applied in training programs, summarized and described by the author as shown in Table 2. According to the discussion done at the step of identifying competencies for startups, so that respondents have a concept for each professional competence, because in fact, there are respondents who have not participated in training programs on business administration, the author has added a description to the content of the components of professional competence.

Table 2. Professional competencies for entrepreneuship

Competence and Variable Name

Competence Description



Operation management (prof_operation)        

Location decisions, internal layout, process design, inventory management, strategic decision making in the production function, integrated planning, scheduling and production control.



Financial management (prof_finance)

Financial management (prof_finance), working capital management, financial analysis, budget planning, investment decision making, investment efficiency calculation.



Marketing Management (prof_mark)

Design and manage distribution channels, design communication programs, positioning, market research, customer relationship management.



Human Resource Management (prof_hrm)

Human resource planning, job analysis and design, recruitment, employee development, compensation, employee attitude research, employee relations.



Strategic management (prof_strategy)          

Analyzing the business environment, analyzing core competencies, analyzing value chains, making strategic decisions, analyzing and implementing competitive decisions, etc.



Entrepreneurship (prof_entrepreneurial)

Integrate knowledge and skills of business administration in starting a business, being sensitive to business opportunities.







Source: Author’s Defination & Survey’s data

The competencies for start-ups are called the competence subscale of the competence scale, which is measured as the average of the professional competencies with the variable name PROFESSIONAL_COMPETENCE.

Behavioral competencies were identified as creativity (variable name: creative), communication (communication), teamwork, time management (time_management), critical thinking, self-motivation, entrepreneurial spirit, and leadership. The above behavioral competencies are the component of competence (competence subscale) forming the common behavioral competence (competence scale) with the variable name used as BEHAVIORAL_COMPETENCE (Table 3).

Table 3. Behavioral competencies for entrepreneuship

Competence and Variable Name



Creativity (creativite)



Communication (communication)



Teamwork (time_management)



Time management (time_management)



Critical thinking (critical)



Self-motivation (motivation)



Entrepreneurial spirit (entrepreneurial)



Leadership (leadership)






Source: Survey’s data

The English language and information technology competencies are called the competence scale with the corresponding variable names ENGLISH, ITC (Table 4).

Table 4. English and ICT

Competence (Variable Name)









Source: Survey’s data

Successful start-up (SUCCESS) - dependent variable, called a common variable and defined by 4 component variables (items) as success1, success2, success3, success4 (Table 5).

Table 5. Items of susseccfull start-up

Item (Variable Name)





I find myself personally satisfied with my life and business for my start-up.




I have done what I want in life and business through starting a business.




Starting a business has contributed to the continuous development of my personal business.




Starting a business that has helped me achieve my goals in at least one business area.







Source: Rosemary Fissher (2014) & Survey’s data

The mean and variance of the scale variables and subscale variables of the analyzed data are shown in Table 2,3,4,5.

Successful entrepreneurial competence must be competencies that play a role in creating career success, that is, they must first have a standard validity, as measured by a coefficient that correlates with career success. Analyzed by visual model of correlation data by pairs.panels()/R, the results of correlation analysis between common competency variables and between them and successful startups are shown in Figure 1 below.

The competencies are correlated with each other and with the above start-up success at an average or higher level (mostly above 0.4), only the correlation between “professional competence” and “English” is still low. (0,36). Among the four analyzed competencies, “professional competence” and “behavioral competence” are highly correlated (r = 0.7) and have a good correlation with “career success” (r>0, 5), while “English” ability has a low correlation with “professional competence” (r=0.36) and has a medium correlation with “professional success” (0.4 < r < 0.5), so it is possible to identify two key competencies for successful start-ups, namely “professional competence” and “behavioral competence”.


Figure 1.  Correclation between of competencies and successful start-up

Source: Outputs of pairs.panels()/R

Analyzing the correlation between the components of professional competence and career success (Figure 2), we have identified four essential components of professional competence that are production management (r=0. ,41), human resource management (0.43), strategy (r=0.51) and entrepreneurship (r-0.52).

Figure 2.  Correclation between the components of professional competence and successful start-up

Source: Outputs of pairs.panels()/R


Analyzing the correlation between the components of behavioral competence and career success (Figure 3), identified four essential components of behavioral competence that are creativity (r=0.39) ), communication (0.49), self-motivation (r=0.41) and entrepreneurial spirit (r-0.42).

Figure 3.  Correclation between the components of behavioral competence and successful start-up

Source: Outputs of pairs.panels()/R

To determine the reliability of the general capabilities (professional competence, behavioral competence) as well as the common variable of startup success, the Cronbach alpha reliability is performed through the alpha() function of the psych library of R and gives reliable results for these common variables (Table 6) with values between 7.6 and 8.1.

Table 5. Cronbach alpha of competencies and susseccfull start-up


Cronbach alpha analysis

Professional competence

raw_alpha std.alpha G6(smc) average_r S/N   ase mean   sd median_r

0.77          0.76           0.73           0.45     3.3    0.034 3.8   0.71  0.42

Behavioral competence

0.78          0.78           0.74           0.47     3.6    0.033  4     0.68   0.48


0.81          0.81            0.8            0.51     4.1    0.03   3.6   0.7     0.43

Source: Outputs of alpha()/R

Thus correlation and reliability analysis results help identify the key competencies for career success (Table 6) that help develop competencies for entrepreneurs.

Table 6. Competencies for entrepreneurs



Professional competence

Operation management


Human Resource Management

Strategic management


Behavioral competence




Entrepreneusrial spirit 


  1. Conclusion

Startup success must first meet the goals of the entrepreneur, and the degree of success is influenced by the entrepreneur, important in that is the critical competence for entrepreneurial success.

Research has identified two key general competencies for success: professional competence and behavioral competence. The components of the identified professional competencies are production management, human resource management, strategy and entrepreneuship. The component of behavioral competencies are creativity, communication, creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and leadership.

The identification of competencies and components of successful entrepreneurship helps to design and practice the effective program of development of competencies for Vietnammese entrepreneurs.


[1]     Albadri, F., & Naseresđin, Y.A. (2019), Strategic thinking, planning, and management practice in the Arab word. Hershey, PA: Business Science Reference (an imprint of IGI Global), 93.

[2]     David D. Dubois, William J. Rothwell (2004), Competency-based human resource management 1st edition, Davies-Black Publishing, California.

[3]     Devoloping entrepreneurship competencies, Policy Note, SME Ministerial Conference, February 2018 Mexico City.

[4]     Hardeep Kaur và Anupama (2013),  International journal of research granthaalayah, Internal Journal of Research, Vol.5 (Iss.5) May, 2017.

[5]     Morteza RezaeidZadeh et al (2016), Core entrepreneurial competencies and their interdependencies: insights from a study of Irish and Iranian entrepreneurs, university students and academics, Bussiness Media, New York 2016.

[6]     Nguyễn Quốc Tuấn & Ngô Xuân Thuỷ (2019), Phát triển năng lực sáng tạo để khởi nghiệp thành công trong đào tạo sinh viên ngành quản trị kinh doanh tại Khoa Quản trị kinh doanh, Trường Đại học Kinh tế, Đại học Đà nẵng, Kỷ yếu Hội thảo khoa học Quốc gia COMB2018.

[7]     Nguyễn Sơn Tùng (2019), Ảnh hưởng của đào tạo khởi nghiệp trong các trường đại học đến ý định khởi nghiệp – tình huống nghiên cứu tại Đại học Đà Nẵng, Báo cáo tổng kết đề tài khoa học và công nghệ cấp cơ sở, Trường Đại học Kinh tế, Đại học Đà Nẵng.

[8]     Phạm Quang Tín (2021), Nghiên cứu các nhân tố tác động đến ý định khởi nghiệp kinh doanh của sinh viên khối ngành kinh tế Việt Nam, Báo cáo tổng kết đề tài khoa học và công nghệ cấp Đại học Đà Nẵng.

[9]     Rosemary Fissher et al (2014), Evaluating entrepreneurs’ perception of success: Development of a measurement scale, Intenational Journal of Entreprenerial Behavior & Research, Vol. 20 (No 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

[10]  Thomas W.Y. Man et al (2008), Entrepreneurial Competencies and the Performance of Small and Medium Enterorise: An Investigation through a Framework of Competencies.

[11]  Võ Xuân Tiến (2010), Một số vấn đề về đào tạo và phát triển nguồn nhân lực, Tạp chí Khoa học và Công nghệ, Đại học Đà Nẵng 5 (40), 263-269.

Nguồn tin: Nguyễn Quốc Tuấn

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