The Potential of Intrapreneurship

How far can it go
With all the reading and viewing featured links that I did during this week gave me cause to be most intrigued by the concept of intrapreneurship. As I thought about the goals of an organization becoming economically efficient by increasing their utility (Palfrey and Gasser, Pg. 131-132) through innovation and the role of social innovation through greater interoperability, these concepts all seemed to add up to intrapreneurship. It seems that if an organization can harness all the qualities of an entrepreneur into their employees the sky could be the limit. A major challenge as I see it is the extent that organizations can foster the organizational culture necessary to achieve this goal. Even more challenging is for an organization to work from the inside out as Simon Sinek would describe it and above all things “define its purpose, cause and belief” both for itself and for the employees who are part of the organization.
(Week 6 Course Notes, Pg. 8)

Because one of the key characteristics of an entrepreneur is the willingness to take risks in order to “…undertake innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods’, the goal is consequently to achieve autonomy and personal gain. The idea of employing these skills on behalf of an organization that an employee works for intrigues me because I can only imagine the stimulation that would come from working in that kind of organizational culture.
Here is an interesting article on how motivated Google employees are, striving to be perfect.

The other thing that strikes me is the extent that intrapreneurship might very well take increasing hold of organizations because of the extent that ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) , social innovation and interoperability of social networks might facilitate the possibilities for “safe interpersonal spaces, training for creativity, strong task orientation and support for creativity.” I was quite moved by the connection between social innovation and economic innovation that were highlighted in the Kiva ( and Kickstarter ( case studies. Clearly an organization whose purpose was to strengthen social innovations might very well have developed economic innovations as a result. If employees existed in such a culture with such a mindset, they might more likely achieve the kind of radical improvements that were described in our text, Interop by Palfrey and Gasser, pg. 135). In the link below, this is a company looking for financial support of $1 from Kickstarter. I really like their idea.

My major question is it possible for intrapreneurship be obtained in a public sector, unionized environment?

From my experience, such an organization does little to promote such a culture but you would think that its purpose, cause and belief would seem obvious and all should be able to buy into it.

My subsequent question would be to what extent might a key social innovation in such a public sector organization lead to a greater chance of intrapreneurship being fostered?


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