Conceptualizing and measuring intrapreneurship : towards a cross-cultural way of paradigming

J.M. Ulijn, H.C. Menzel, M. Karatas Ozkan, K. Nicolopoulou

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Conceptualizing and measuring intrapreneurship is difficult, because of the lack of the common and divergent elements to define this construct and the question how to measure it. What is beyond Pinchot's (1985) as a variant his classic book title: Is Intrapreneurship a reason, why you would not have to leave the corporation to become an entrepreneur? It seems as if another even older Systems View of Problem Solving by Mitroff et al. (1974), still could provide a conceptual model of the intrapreneurship construct derived from a business reality and problem situation leading to a solution via a scientific model, but in which order and interactions / (causal) interrelationships? Within Europe both the French conceptualization priority and the Anglo-Germanic measurement preference seem to be complementary paradigms in coming to grips with intrapreneurship theorizing, modelling (French?) and application (Anglo-Germanic?). An ecologically valid simulation of business cases might be a good way to combine both paradigms, which have, of course, a strong overlap. In Eindhoven we could do a pilot study to simulate an intrapreneurship negotiation case with 35 Dutch students, of whom 23 participated and 14 served as a control group, to replicate the priority profile of Ernst and Young (1998) of the ideal entrepreneur by 500 leading American business executives. It showed a strong learning effect on priority 1 ‘seizing opportunities’, confirming this for intrapreneurship. Students who participated in the simulation rated this much higher than their non-participating fellows. Ernst and Young's priority 2 ‘resourceful’ was significantly lower rated by all students (lack of business experience?), but priority 3 ‘creative’ and 7 ‘innovator’ had for all students the same priority 1 and 3 (essential for a research oriented university?). This article discusses the potential of such scenario-based simulations to combine French and Anglo-Germanic paradigms to conceptualise and measure intrapreneurship in Industrial R&D labs in Germany, The Netherlands and France.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterpreneurship : concepts and cases
EditorsN. Parikh
Place of PublicationHyderabad
PublisherICFAI University Press
Number of pages288
ISBN (Print)978-81-314-1243-5
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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