Dr Charles Dahwa
Part 3: The role of patriotic production
In my previous article (Part 2), I explained the crucial importance of patriotic business motivation as the first among nine key underpinnings to drive patriotic entrepreneurship in our nation.
The other eight underpinnings are Patriotic Production, Patriotic Pricing, Patriotic People Management, Patriotic Marketing, Patriotic Market Behaviour, Patriotic Entrepreneurship Development, Patriotic Knowledge Creation, Patriotic National Narrative and Stakeholder Management. In this article, I am explaining the role of Patriotic Production and to enhance our understanding here are some definitions of key terms as used in this article.
Entrepreneurship takes on a broad meaning that we all commonly ascribe to it, that is: Risk-taking, creativity, innovation and growth in both SMEs and large enterprises. Production implies making or manufacturing other things (finished and semi-finished goods) using raw materials and other inputs.
Commerce, as we all know, primarily refers to buying and selling of goods and services; hence, without production, significant commerce cannot take place. Business entails all commercial activities inclusive of production and commerce. Explaining why individuals (or entrepreneurs) get into business, entrepreneurship research identifies ‘to make money’ as the number one driving factor.
The implication is that when any person strongly values money, or wealth or being rich they tend to come up with creative ideas of how best they can make money/create wealth.
Driven by this dominant desire to make money entrepreneurs proceed to either discover or create conditions in the macro-micro environments that make it favourable for them to exploit their ideas for making money.
Such conditions in entrepreneurship represent what is termed ‘entrepreneurial opportunity’.
Key factors comprising this entrepreneurial opportunity include novel potential product/service to be offered, potential demand for the product/service, capability to provide such a product/service (i.e., whether manufacturing it or buying it to resell it), profit potential and amount of the profit as well as sustainability of the demand and the profit, given competition.
From the above, there are two key lessons we learn from an entrepreneurial opportunity. The first one is that not every macro-micro environmental condition translates to an entrepreneurial opportunity to every entrepreneur.
This is because firstly entrepreneurs as individuals are different, for example, they have different desired self-identities and different entrepreneurial motivations. Secondly, it is not every production of goods and services that presents entrepreneurs with their desired profit and wealth creation ambitions.
The second lesson we learn is that, for as long as profit, making money, wealth and being rich is the dominant factor in assessing an entrepreneurial opportunity and in deciding to venture into business, some goods and services risk not being produced at all or produced in limited quantities.
This is so because such goods and services simply fail to meet the entrepreneur’s profit maximisation objectives.
While it is quite logical for entrepreneurs to assess and approve entrepreneurial opportunities differently and to commonly seek after profit maximisation, as human beings and being nationals and citizens, they neither live in a vacuum nor live for themselves. Instead, entrepreneurs are an integral part of firstly their own nation, which comprise of individuals, society, businesses, government, institutions, culture and national interests.
Secondly, entrepreneurs and their businesses also make up the larger global community of nations throughout the world.
From the perspective of business ethics, the quest for profit maximation that result in nil or very limited provision of goods and services, which a nation or some citizens require, yet having the means to do so, is not only a misnomer but unethical. Importantly, this reflects a high tendency of sabotaging the nation, the economy and the government of the day.
It is in this context that globally, we see governments in any country intervening in the market to address such market failures and inefficiencies. Interestingly, whenever governments intervene in the market, some within the private and civic sectors tend to cry foul.
But alas, which government in the world will stand aside, arms folded and look in amusement while business does cherry picking of what to produce and what not to produce.
It is, therefore, in this context that there is great need to rope in the crucial role of patriotism in entrepreneurship. As I indicated in my previous articles: Part 1 and Part 2, patriotic entrepreneurs are dominantly driven by patriotic business motivation: They are in business not just to pursue and fulfill their aspired life goals but also seek to significantly contribute to the national interests and prosperity of their countries. They have strong affinity, passion, love for their country and they are not ashamed to identify with it. Consequently, drawing on their patriotic business motivation, I argue that patriotic entrepreneurs go a step further to embrace patriotic production.
To unpack patriotic production, I have to do so by theorising because as I explained in my very first article, patriotism is largely overlooked in the entrepreneurship discourse. To start my theorisation, I define patriotic production as the nationalistic passion, resourcefulness and sacrifice to continue to profitably produce goods and services notwithstanding profit maximisation constraints. I posit that patriotic production involves five key tenets, namely, Nationalist Evocation, Determination of People’s Needs and Wants, Determination of Strategic Resources, National Interests Adoption, and Strategic Plan Crafting and Implementation.
Regarding the national evocation tenet, my first argument is that a patriotic entrepreneur primarily identifies themselves as a nationalist, that is, born and bred in their country and with undying allegiance and love for their nation and not just a citizen.
A citizen differs from a national in that citizenship is legally acquired, can be ditched or taken away from the beholder even if they still loved to be a citizen.
At the same time, nationals being born and bred in their country are natural citizens by birth but not every national is a nationalist. Simply, put “haasi munhu wese akaberekwa munyika make anoda nyika yake nomoyo wake wese zvekusvika pakuitamburira kana kuifira”.
My second argument is that, being nationalist, a patriotic entrepreneur as I demonstrated in my previous second article (Part 2) is dominantly driven by patriotic business motivation. This means they are in business not just to pursue their desired self-identity and aspired personal life goals but also very much prioritizes national identity, national interests and the overall wellbeing of their country.
Therefore, drawing on my first and second arguments, patriotic business motivation leads to patriotic production, which is characterized by firstly evoking one’s nationality and nationalist allegiance. Specifically, what drives patriotic production is a nationalistic perspective that draws on evoking one’s nationality, the national revolution, national culture, and national aspirations.
Doing this result in the patriotic entrepreneur strongly affirming their allegiance to their nation as a nationalist. It is very important to point out here that globally, there is no nation that has no nationalist leaders who through idiosyncratic revolutions ‘midwifed’ the birth of such a nation.
It is the very same nationalist leaders (born and bred) and not just citizens (legally acquired status) who shaped the politics of their nations, fostered patriotism and as torch bearers pioneered the championing and marshalling of national interests. Consequently, when a patriotic entrepreneur evokes their nationalist tenet, what they do is to retrace the footsteps of the birthing of their nation straight to its umbilical cord “kudzokera pane rukuvhute rwenyika yavo”. In sharp contrast, legally acquired citizenship has no umbilical cord in the nation they reside and do business in: “Rukuvhute rwavo rwuri kunyika kwavo kwavakabva”.
Having reaffirmed their nationalist identity and feeling quite strongly about transforming their nation, the next tenet in patriotic production is that of interrogating what the peoples’ needs and wants are. By doing this, patriotic entrepreneurs get comprehensive understanding about what goods and services are required in order to firstly make the people live and secondly make the people succeed in attaining a higher standard of living. After knowing what the people need and want, the third tenet in patriotic production is for patriotic entrepreneurs to survey the quantum of strategic resources across the key sectors of the economy, that is, extractive (agriculture, quarrying, mining, forestry, oil, gas), manufacturing, construction, retail and services. Doing this helps patriotic production to connect the nation’s needs and wants with the nation’s strategic resources.
The fourth tenet in patriotic production I would argue is consulting the national interests’ portfolio to establish what national interests are key to adopt and embed in seeking to draw on the strategic national resources to address the peoples’ needs and wants. Notably, at any given time, each country globally has clearly defined national interests and patriotic entrepreneurs do not at all struggle to recognize and determine what national interests to adopt and embed in their entrepreneurship.
Finally, the fifth tenet in patriotic production is the crafting and resolute implementation of a strategic plan that encompasses all the functional plans (marketing, production, human resources, finance, information technology, governance, risk, stakeholder, and sustainability).
Given all the above, it is very clear that my theorized patriotic production significantly differs from the traditional entrepreneurship and business management approach to determine what goods and services to produce. As is well taught and known, an entrepreneur has to undertake marketing research which is inclusive of market segmentation, targeting and finally positioning. During this marketing research process the product/service-demand matrix, its competitiveness and ultimate profit maximization plays a dominant role in determining what goods and services to produce and how to do so.
In sharp contrast, while patriotic entrepreneurs still undertake marketing research with profit and competitiveness all still very important, what dominantly determines what goods and services to produce is not just profit maximization but the people’s needs and wants. This is because patriotic entrepreneurs are not just in business to make money and become millionaire or billionaire moguls while their nation and her people suffer in poverty? To patriotic entrepreneurs, being the richest persons in their country loses meaning when some goods and services are limitedly supplied, not in supply or overpriced.
What is striking about patriotic production I would argue, is that, because it is nationalist driven, it is better inclined to ensure key national strategic resources are effectively owned and exploited by the nationals to produce goods and services the nation and her people require. Of-course all citizens have full rights under their citizenship to undertake whatever business they so wish to venture into, but remember, there is a difference between legally acquired citizenship and being born and bred. Similarly, foreign direct investment has numerous advantages just as much as it has a plethora of disadvantages with increasing evidence showing that developing countries benefit less than the FDI host countries. Therefore, it is prudent for nationals and especially patriotic entrepreneurs to lead in producing goods and services in key sectors of the economy because foreign and legal citizenship capital can divest at any time and acquired citizenship can be renounced, yet nationalists remain.
Further, without patriotism influencing capital regarding what goods and services to produce, market shortages of some goods and services can occur. Even worse, without patriotism, the nation risks the prevalence of capital which is alien to national interests leading to production of goods and services that do not preserve and strengthen the national culture. If patriotism falters, alien capital can through its goods and services actually work to destroy the national identity and social fabric of the nation. Further, the nation can be reduced to mostly a consumer of the host economies of the alien capital. I am raising all these arguments because as far as doing business within the context of capitalist economies is concerned, corporate prosperity supersedes patriotism and for this reason it is very common that in any given society globally, a minority of the population owns the biggest chunk of the national wealth. Just google search this fact for yourself.
To conclude this discussion, it is befitting to call upon all our entrepreneurs born and bred in Zimbabwe to consider becoming patriotic entrepreneurs.
Dr Charlie provides cutting edge consultancy in Research, Strategy, Entrepreneurship and SME Development, Marketing, HRM and Corporate Governance. He recently graduated with a PhD in Management from Manchester Metropolitan University, (UK) and is contactable on
Email: [email protected] Mobile: +263 71 370 2933