This essay looks into the role of intrapreneurs in organizations, how they help organizations in improving organizational performance, and how they bring about positive change and innovations within organizations with real life examples. This essay will analyze the benefits for organizations in employing intrapreneurs and creating a culture that nurtures intrapreneurial thinking within organizations. Due to globalization businesses are faced with increased competition which requires product differentiation and innovation to stay ahead of competition. Intrapreneurial innovation helps organizations to stay competitive and to find new opportunities in the market to maintain growth and expand its operations (Ernst & Young, 2010). The first part of this essay will focus on the history of entrepreneurship, characteristics and skills of an entrepreneur, human capital, and look at ways of promoting entrepreneurship.
There is no universally accepted definition of an entrepreneur, but for the purpose of this topic we could define entrepreneurship as “Risk taking people, who react to profit opportunities, bear uncertainty to bring about a balance between supply and demand in specific markets” (Schaper & Volery, 2007). History of entrepreneurship dates back to the 6th millennium BC (Albright, 1985). Earliest evidence of entrepreneurship was found in the Middle and the Far East where trading had taken place for pottery making, silk and spices. (Moore & Lewis, 1999). Present day entrepreneurship was given much interest after Birch (1979) said that small and medium scale businesses can create jobs opportunities. Today with globalization and intense competition taking place, inability to be entrepreneurial and innovate will result in job loss in the short run (Haltiwanger, 1999) and economic decline in the long run due to the inability to replace inefficient businesses (Drucker, 1986).
A person should possess adequate human capital along with entrepreneurial traits to become a successful entrepreneur. Many traits for a typical entrepreneur were identified by different authors but the following 5 are generally agreed upon as key traits, those are; high internal locus of control, independence and need for achievement, innovativeness, risk tolerant and willing to embrace change, and hard working and task oriented (Mueller & Goic, 2002). In addition to the above traits, an entrepreneur should enhance his/her human capital to broaden his/her scope to increase chances of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Enhancement of human capital can be in the form of a higher tertiary education or practical work experience.
Promoting entrepreneurship is important as it creates new job opportunities and enhances economic growth (Birch, 1979) (Drucker, 1986) (Steyaert & Katz, 2004). Entrepreneurships should to be encouraged by their friends and family (societal level) and by the government (national level) to pursue with their ventures. This will encourage potential entrepreneurs (individual level) to start up new business ventures. Governments should communicate the opportunities and prospects of entrepreneurship with the help of media, city councils, business incubators and other private institutions and establishments. Sullivan Palatek (well renowned businessmen and entrepreneur) on a radio New Zealand interview with presenter Chris Laidlaw on 28th August 2011 replied when asked “how would you develop young entrepreneurs?” He replied “entrepreneurs should be looked up to as heroes by young men just like the “All Blacks” New Zealand Rugby Team”. It is important to understand social psychology and how it affects social behaviour. The drive for change should come from all levels as mentioned above namely, individual, societal and national level.
Intrapreneurship is also known as corporate...