Topic 4: Intrapreneurship


This topic examines new venture creation in established organisations; the intrapreneurial process; the middle manager as an entrepreneur; the roles of sponsors and climate makers.The ability of large organisations to generate innovations is contingent on their ability to encourage entrepreneurial behaviour among their employees. 

Intrapreneuring is contingent upon an alignment between the individual’s ability to undertake entrepreneurial activities, and also the organisation’s characteristics. Innovative organisations need a strong market orientation, innovative leadership, non-linear strategic planning, flexible structures and a supportive culture.

The structure and culture should be aligned to ensure that innovation can be fostered through freedom and creativity, but also implemented through efficient production and distribution. Intrapreneurship can be risky for managers who need to behave as if they are risking their own money. Encouraging entrepreneurial behaviour within large organisations requires attention to be given to human resource management (HRM) systems with appropriate rewards, resources, management support, organisational structure and a risk tolerant culture. 

Within public sector and non-profit organisations managers can also engage in innovative and entrepreneurial behaviour. Managers in these organisations face increasing pressure to innovate and find new ways to deliver services more cost-effectively. Innovation can be a useful tool for public organisations in shaping and implementing policy. In healthy public organisations employees see innovation as a normal part of their job and find that new ideas are encouraged and supported.

Senior managers within public organisations must overcome complacency, empower employees and communicate the virtues of innovation. They need to be willing to change, to build on firm foundations, have a clear strategic vision and learn to shift mindsets as they actively encourage innovation.

Textbooks and readings


Mazzarol, T., and Reboud, S. (2017) Entrepreneurship and Innovation 3rd edn, Melbourne, Tilde University Press, ISBN: 978-0-7346-1225-0. Chapter 4.


Mazzarol, T., and Reboud, S. (2017) Entrepreneurship and Innovation Workbook, Melbourne, Tilde University Press, ISBN 978-0--7346-1227-4.


Mazzarol, T. (2011) Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Readings and Cases 2nd Edition, Tilde University Press, Melbourne, chapter 4.

Recommended readings:

Antoncic, B. and R. D. Hisrich (2001). "Intrapreneurship: Construct refinement and cross-cultural validation." Journal of Business Venturing 16(5): 495-527.

Baker, F. P. (1995). "Marketing in a local authority." Journal of Marketing Practice: Applied Marketing Science 1(4): 73-84.

Buekens, W. (2014). "Fostering Intrapreneurship: The Challenge for a New Game Leadership." Procedia Economics and Finance 16(2014): 580-586.

Burgelman, R. A. (1984). "Managing the Internal Corporate Venturing Process." Sloan Management Review 25(2): 33-48.

Byron, D. L. (1994). "How internal venture groups innovate." Research Technology Management 37(2): 38-42.

David, B. L. (1994). "How Internal Venture Groups Innovate." Research Technology Management 37(2): 38-44.

Duncan, W. J., Ginter, P., Rucks, A. and Jacobs, T.D. (1988). "Intrapreneurship and the Reinvention of the Corporation." Business Horizons 31(3): 16-21.

Farson, R. and Keyes, R. (2002). "The Failure Tolerant Leader." Harvard Business Review 80(8): 64-72.

Gresov, C. (1984). "Designing Organizations to Innovate and Implement: Using Two Dilemmas to Create a Solution." Columbia Journal of World Business 19(4): 63-67.

Hornsby, J., Naffziger, D., Kuratko, D., and Montagno, R. (1993). "An Interactive Model of the Corporate Entrepreneurship Process." Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice 17(2): 29-37.

Mazzarol, T. (2004). Creating the Innovative Organisation: CEMI Discussion Paper 0401. Perth, Centre for Entrepreneurial Management and Innovation, University of Western Australia.

O'Reilly, C. A., & Tushman, M.L. (2004). "The Ambidextrous Organization." Harvard Business Review 82(4): 74-81.

Parker, S. C. (2011). "Intrapreneurship or entrepreneurship?" Journal of Business Venturing 26(1): 19-34.

Pinchot, G. (1987). "Innovation Through Intrapreneuring." Research Management 30(2): 14-19.

Sholl, J. (1998). "Ten Principles of Intrapreneuring." Executive Excellence 15(1): 17-18.

Stein, R., and Pinchot, Gifford (1998). "Are you innovative?" Association Management 50(2): 74-77.

Lecture notes

Topic 4: Intrapreneurship lecture slides.