Competitive landscape is marked by intense competition among existing players



"He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils: for time is the greatest innovator" Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626).

The competitive landscape in many industries today is marked by intense competition among existing players and the emergence of many focused competitors targeting specific segments of the market. In addition, the macro environment is characterised by rapid technological progress in many fields rendering current solutions to customer problems obsolete, explosive industrial growth in some sectors, and recession-like conditions in others leading to industry-wide restructuring. In this scenario, any company that is not continually developing, acquiring, and adapting to new technological advances and to the changing business environment, may be making, in the words of Merrifield (1993), the unintentional strategic decision to be out of business within a few years.

The essence of entrepreneurship is innovation (Schumpeter, 1934; Drucker, 1985) leading to wealth creation (Khandwalla, 1987) and sustained growth of corporations (Miller, 1983; Naman and Selvin, 1993; Lumpkin and Dess 1996; Ray and Ramachandran 1996). The motive for entrepreneurship lies in the urge to identify sources of existing and emerging customer dissatisfaction and developing solutions to eliminate them (Ramachandran, 2003). There are three main phases in the entrepreneurial process: the perception and commitment to opportunity, the pursuit of opportunity, and de-commitment (Burgelman and Sayles 1989).

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The first of these involving the process of identifying an opportunity is the toughest of all. Recent years have witnessed major research interest in opportunity identification (Shane 2004; Timmons 1999; Shane and Venkatraman, 2000), but except for a few frameworks developed by Kim and Manborgne (2003), Ramachandran (2003) and Shane (2004), the board is essentially blank. Corporate Entrepreneurship (CE) is the process by which individuals inside organisations pursue opportunities without regard to the resources they currently control (Stevenson,Roberts, and Grousbeck, 1999)

I will try to use the characteristic of an entrepreneur to come up with why an employee in the organisation will want to create his own business and what are the different obstacles for an employee to be creative and innovative in his company .

A) What make an employee start his own  business and run away from the company :

First of all we can say that the main obstacle is the bureaucratic nature of an organisation doesn't help the employee (innovator) to express himself properly and that include a lot of things such as the nature of the organisation and how our leaders and top managers are thinking about the future or the vision of the company .

But there are other characteristics which make people selfish and they don't want to work for others , we can cite this main characteristic as follow :

Freedom :
When you work for yourself, you can choose to work when you want. The where and how is also decided by you. You are not locked into a confining nine to five schedule. If you work best early in the morning, then you can do that. If you prefer to work late at night while the rest of the family is asleep, then that is up to you.

Control over Job Security
Being your own boss is empowering because you cannot be laid off or get fired. You are also not at the mercy of a difficult boss, management or the whims of a company. If you work for someone else, you often have to make nice to keep your job. Many different things can occur to upset the balance of a pleasant working environment- your favourite supervisor can leave; the company can go bankrupt or relocate; you can be demoted or have your hours cut back; or corporate policies can cause you problems. None of these things exist if you become an entrepreneur.

Many employees believe that they are not earning what they are worth based on their job experience, education and skills. You have greater control over your financial aspirations when you work for yourself. As long as you are willing to work hard, often the sky is the limit on what you can make running your own business.

Independence and Creativity:
Many people feel that they cannot move forward in their current jobs and seek to have a greater level of independence. In addition, they want to be innovative and creative in their career pursuits. When you run your own small business, you become everything from the VP to the promoter to the secretary. Your ground breaking side can now shine through!

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Risk Taking:
Depending upon how you view risks, this could be a pro or a con. If you thrive on the excitement of taking smart risks, then you will see it as a plus. While you can do everything possible to prepare yourself for what is to come, even careful planning is not one hundred percent foolproof. For many people this is the part that is so exciting!

B) How organisations can keep and encourage their innovative employee to be entrepreneurship:

We never shut up about the great things that lie ahead of a company whose people get up every morning and come to work knowing - convinced-that there is a better way of doing everything they do-and determined to find out who knows that way and how they can learn it. It is this learning, sharing, and action-driven culture, when laid across the diverse businesses of GE, that gives us our true advantage, an advantage single-industry companies can never match-what we call "horizontal learning" across more than 250 diverse, global GE business segments.

-General Electric Annual Report, 1996

Some people, by nature, will try to spot and capitalize on opportunities, but more entrepreneurial behaviour will occur when the conditions encouraging it are right. This is true for start-ups. Entrepreneurial leaders can enhance the likelihood of effective entrepreneurial behavior (the second form of leadership) in the rest of the organization.

There is a considerable body of knowledge about what organizational conditions block or support innovation of all kinds. Quinn identified bureaucratic barriers to innovation as top management isolation, intolerance of fanatics, short time horizons, accounting practices that loaded all overhead onto projects, excessive rationalism (and intolerance of some chaos), excessive bureaucracy (too many approvals and delays), and inappropriate incentives (focused on minimizing surprises).

Anyone who has worked in a large organization has experienced the many ways good possibilities can be killed. But some leaders and their companies do many things to encourage entrepreneurial behaviour. Jack Welch has been justifiably celebrated for not only his personal charisma and energy, but also for the many devices he introduced or modified in GE to achieve the kind of behaviour described in the opening quote from GE's annual report. Among other things, he introduced Work-Out, a program to reduce fear of higher managers and begin to make changes allowing faster behaviour ; spread stock options much deeper in the organization in order to reward more people for initiative; spent far more on management development encouraging initiative and personally appeared at every major program to reinforce the message; created best practices and benchmarking programs to spread ideas; used the quarterly management meetings to spur ideas and speed innovation; installed a rigorous evaluation and feedback system, then publicly declared that only "A" players were desired; promoted "boundary lessness " to reduce organizational barriers to action, and so on. All of these were pulled together by Welch under the concept of "Speed , Simplicity and Self-Confidence," which is a way of describing entrepreneurial initiative.

Kanter wrote in 1985, after an earlier round of enchantment, " If the bureaucratic trap is like a cage that restricts the opportunities for people to contribute all they can, the entrepreneurial trap is a void, a black hole into which people disappear when they lack direction or accountability. The issue is balance : enough breadth in jobs and decentralization in decisions to allow initiative and creativity, but enough discipline and direction and controls to focus local initiative on the highest priority tasks from the standpoint of the entire corporation"

We have seen the great intrapreneurship strategy applied in GE company , and how successful it was by putting the employee in the right environment , and encouraging this people for more innovation and reward .

More example of successful intrapreneurship company as follow :

In GTE's Information Systems Division that has paid off for the company and its

employees too. This program was actually developed by a former GTE employee, Anthony Spadafore, who left GTE to form his own consultancy program, Pathfinders, which works towards developing self-directed employees. Spadafore spent extensive counselling the volunteer employees in this new way of thinking and working. From the initial group eight new projects were proposed and a number of them funded. A number of employees have defined totally new career paths for themselves. This program has totally redefined how GTE does business.

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3Mis another company that has reaped the rewards of intrapreneurism. 3M has a standard policy that allows all employees to work on developing their own business ideas at least 15 percent of the time they are at work. One of the big breakthroughs that came from this program was the concept of Post-It-Notes which was pioneered by an employees that wanted something that wouldn't fall out to mark pages in his hymn book at church.

It was hardly a secret that Kodak was struggling to transition into the digital age; in mid-2006, the company's stock was off more than ten bucks a share, while other industry players rushed into the digital space. So industry analysts were doubly surprised early last year when the photo giant announced it was entering the consumer printing market. Though inkjet printers were hardly a revolutionary idea, entering unfamiliar territory represented a major intrapreneurial challenge for the company.

Cheryl Pohlman, who worked in Kodak's marketing department, was chosen to spearhead the effort. From 2003 to 2006 her team did exhaustive research to pinpoint customer dissatisfaction with the inkjet market and found three main things consumers disliked about their current printers: the cost of ink, the quality of prints, and the difficulty they had using the technology. Pohlman knew Kodak had the brand presence that consumers would associate with high quality and the technical know-how to make machines user-friendly, but she also knew that what was going to grab everyone's attention was price.

Instead of focusing on making vastly cheaper printers, Pohlman and her team tuned into something they knew from their own experiences: People were not printing the majority of their pictures because ink cartridges were so expensive. "We decided to make our ink cartridges 50 percent cheaper than our rivals'," Pohlman says. "We knew that's what consumers really wanted. And even though we're a big company, we entered the market from the position of challengers."

This underdog posturing created a lot of buzz - customers could suddenly buy $25 ink cartridges from Kodak, a well-known and trusted company, rather than shelling out $60-$80 to buy ink from less familiar manufacturers such as Konica and Elite Image. Analysts and consumers praised the company for bringing prices down to earth. Kodak sold 520,000 printers last year, beating its target of a half-million units, which helped sales in the company's digital business grow 17 percent in the last quarter of 2007.

We can say that a human resources department has a pioneering role on making the organisation stronger by choosing the right strategy to lead people and let them express themselves .

Conclusion :

Business developed along the time , it started by entrepreneurship and then the big development in technologies become faster  making a big competition  which lead the big organisation to come up with a new solution by creating a new space for employees to create and innovate and that space is intrapreneurship  or corporate entrepreneurship .In my opinion intrapreneurship is a must and not a choice for a company to survive in this fast technological development . 

  • References:;col1


    - working paper series Indian school of business:

    corporate entrepreneurship :how?

    - Conference on Global Competition & Competitiveness of Indian Corporate:

    Fostering Intrapreneurship - The new Competitive Edge

    - Management Review: An International Journal Volume 3 Number 1 Summer 2008:

    Professional Associations and Barriers to Intrapreneurship and Entrepreneurship.

    - Intrapreneurship : Conceptualizing entrepreneurial employee behaviour ((SCientific AnaLysis of Entrepreneurship and SMEs)

    - Intrapreneurship; enabling postgraduate researchers to drive organisational innovation