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Have You Considered Intrapreneurship?
Lawrence Jones, Ph.D.
Entrepreneurship has been a massive buzzword in American culture over the last 15 years. With the rise in academic programs around the country focusing on entrepreneurship over the last decade, there has been an increased focus on entrepreneurial courses, certifications, and programs. The topic of entrepreneurship has evolved more as an interdisciplinary concept, and perhaps it has become more incorporated with every significant discipline, even within the academy now.
But let's face it, everyone does not want to start their own business, nor are they interested in the mechanics of creating a new venture. A term that isn't used much is
intrapreneurship. Far too often in organizations on corporations, some employees are only there to collect a paycheck. The employer and employee that has the intrapreneur perspective can make their position expand and their job gain value. Investopedia (2022) defines intrapreneurship as "a system that allows an employee to act like an entrepreneur within a company or other organization."
It is often an approved project by the company that the employee takes ownership of and is self-motivated. Intrapreneurs are proactive and action-oriented people to pursue innovative products or services. What is unique about intrapreneurial efforts is that often the organization absorbs losses that arise from failure instead of the person personally. Parker (2011) emphasizes that "there is evidence that intrapreneurship helps managers renew and revitalize their businesses, innovate, and enhance their overall business performance."
Parker (2011) also professes intrapreneurship as "the practice of developing a new venture within an existing organization, to exploit a new opportunity and create economic value, whereas entrepreneurship involves developing a new venture outside an existing organization." Antoncic and Hisrich (2001) add that intrapreneurship is crucial since it focuses on a person's existing role within a given company. The focus is viewed as being beneficial for the revitalization and performance of corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises. So, readers who are currently in specific roles in their jobs, whether a startup company or a new position, should already think about how they can improve their situation.
Employers and employees should be aware of how they can grow the company and how they can be a significant influencer in their organization in a positive way. Often, an excellent entrepreneurial perspective is well and is more of a rewarding experience for the person in the role. It would also right grow the company in ways perhaps the employer had never thought considered. Antoncic and Hisrich also argue that there are four distinct dimensions of intrapreneurship conceptually. These are 1) new-business–venturing, 2) innovativeness, 3) strategy reformulation, and 4) proactiveness. Intrapreneurship is a valuable concept and should investigate and develope more conceptually. Arguably, both intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship may complement each other.
Antoncic, B., & Hisrich, R. D. (2001). Intrapreneurship: Construct refinement and cross-cultural validation. Journal of Business Venturing, 16(5), 495-527.
Investopedia.(2022). Intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurship Definition (investopedia.com)
Parker, S. C. (2011). Intrapreneurship or entrepreneurship? Journal of Business Venturing, 26(1), 19-34.
Tietz, M. A., & Parker, S. C. (2012). How Do Intrapreneurs and Entrepreneurs Differ in Their Motivation to Start a New Venture? Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 32(4), 4.