Intrapreneurship or Entrepreneurship: Article Critique
The article under review is titled, Intrapreneurship or Entrepreneurship by Parker (2009). The author explores the factors that influence the exploitation of new opportunities through the establishment of new ventures for employers (nascent Intrapreneurship) or independently (nascent entrepreneurship). The author surveyed American adults to draw the differences between the two terms. The study went ahead to uncover several differences between the two concepts in terms of what drives individuals who embrace them. It was more pronounced that nascent entrepreneurs tended to leverage their social ties and human capital in organizing business ventures. They also focused on direct selling to customers while the intrapreneurs focused on disproportionately commercializing unique opportunities, which are sold to other businesses.
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Intrapreneurship is variously known as corporate entrepreneurship or corporate venturing as held by Burgelman (1984). However, Pinchot (1985) saw it as a practice that entailed initiating a new venture within an already existing venture with a view to exploiting new opportunities and creating economic value. On the contrary, entrepreneurship involves the development of a new venture outside the precincts of an existing entity. Evidence shows that intrapreneurship is of help to managers in renewing and revitalizing their business entities towards innovating and enhancing the overall performance of an entity as indicated by Antoncic and Hisrich (2001). Thus, the difference is where the processes take place. Whereas intrapreneurship takes place within an existing enterprise, entrepreneurship takes place outside an existing organization.
Basically, having understood the meaning of the two terms, the author felt it was necessary to understand the factors that influenced their development. Moreover, it should be noted that the word nascent is used to refer to emerging. Focusing on the past, several reasons have been offered why entrepreneurship, as opposed to entrepreneurship, has been adopted in the exploitation of business opportunities. Some of the factors include organizational limitations, agency costs, and bureaucratic concerns. In regards to agency costs, aspects such as contracting between employers and employees, limitations in asset complementarities and non-transferability of human capital are some of the limiting factors.
The results from the study are truly informative and highly enriching to practice. Since the results show that observable characteristics such as personality, recent work performance, proposed products prove influential in regards to the development of either intrapreneurship or entrepreneurship. However, new issues emerge that necessitate the reviewing of the current theories to reflect recent trends.
The article develops critical theoretical arguments as well as testable hypotheses on factors that promote intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship. On the theory part, the article emphasizes the significance of human capital in a bid to understand the determinants of organizing efforts to start a venture.
The research findings indicated that product, organizational and individual characteristics would affect decisions to seek and exploit opportunities relying on either entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship. As the study concluded, it was not clear whether any of the two was better than the other. In my view, the conclusion was justified given the fact that for one of the two approaches to succeed, accounting for variations in circumstances is indispensable.
In light of the review of the article, it is clear that intrapreneurship is entrepreneurship embraced by people within ongoing organizations. This necessitates a clear comprehension of what entrepreneurship is all about. Just as any concept, entrepreneurship has varied definitions. For instance, it is a process that involves the creation of value through combining unique resources to take advantage of an opportunity. The same concept can be viewed differently. For instance, it reflects the pursuit of opportunity regardless of the resources under control at the current time.
Hence, a primary uniting element is found in the sense that entrepreneurs are driven by opportunities. Opportunities emerge out of environmental variations or changes. One key characteristic of entrepreneurs is that they are quick to spot the changing patterns. So they take advantage at an opportune moment. Unlike a manager who considers the resources at hand to pursue an opportunity, entrepreneurs look at their goals before considering the resources they require to achieve them.
Entrepreneurship stands on three foundational aspects. They include: innovation, calculated risk-taking, and creativity. Innovation is the ability to perceive things in a novel way. On the other hand, calculated risk-taking reflects the ability to consider chances and embracing failure as a learning lesson. About creativity, the focus is o the ability to perceive or conceive possibilities and decide on the most desirable.
Intrapreneurs hip differs from entrepreneurship in a few aspects. As already mentioned, an entrepreneur acts within the confines of an existing enterprise. Based on the norms of society, intrapreneurs must seek the permission of those in authority before commencing their plans. In practice, intrapreneurs incline to act first before notifying the authorities. Intrapreneurs often seek change which in many instances appears revolutionary. They pursue to alter the existing framework. Such leads to organizational friction. For such kind of enterprising to succeed, mutual respect must prevail. One positive that intrapreneurship enjoys over entrepreneurship is that the former takes advantage of existing resources. Hence, it is much easier to exploit emerging opportunities.