Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research
1997 Edition


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Jon Erik Svendsen

IESE1Doctoral Programme
E-08034 Barcelona, Spain

Telephone: 34-3-204-4000
Fax: 34-3-280-1177
Direct Tel+Fax: 34-3-791-0630

Principal Topics

The development of 5 Intrapreneurial Ventures in Norway were studied. We were looking for new insight in what characterize or determines the creation of a successful venture, in order to come closer to an implementation model for Intrapreneurship.


The research was based on 5 Successful Intrapreneurial Ventures with a clear strategic difference from existing group activities. These cases were analyzed in debt to identify any characteristic or element that influenced the creation and development of the ventures. We especially focused on the first development phase, from project initiation until the venture was established. All key people who influenced the development or important decisions related to the venture development, were interviewed. In addition were annual reports, minutes from board meetings, project meetings etc. as well as general archives searched and studied. The field research was then compared with existing literature and other studies and discussed.

Major Findings
We found strong links between 'self-selection' among team members, motivation and progress in venture development. All the Intrapreneurs had a track record with previous positive Entrepreneurial or Management Achievements.

We found that voluntary team members, or those that had been brought in buy the Intra-preneur(s) were more motivated and played a more active role than team members appointed as representatives by their bosses. These people together with the Intrapreneurs formed an inner circle with high motivation and high performance. As long as this group is in charge, the development seems to go faster.

The projects had greatest support from the Entrepreneurial Top Manager. This support was especially important to make the projects survive the down-turns and to allow needed investments. Rapid learning in Intrapreneurial Team resulted in changing concepts and increased the need for Entrepreneurial Top managers who manage to navigate in changing environment.

The Successful Intrapreneurial Venture were largely built on internal capabilities not previously recognized as core capability, combined with other external capabilities reached  by  Intrapreneur(s).  The  Intrapreneur(s)  ability  to  build and use network is vital in this forming process.
We suggest that (a) Firms can enhance Intrapreneurship by employing top managers with Entrepreneurial attitude, who voluntary will defend arising Intrapreneurial projects. (b) The evaluation of specific projects should focus on the needed capabilities and how these could form future uniqueness or competitive advantage. (c) The Development process could be stimulated by having a strong focus on what encourage the spirit of each particular Intrapreneurial Team.


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