Intrapreneurial activities are vitally important for established organizations to integrate superior resources, stimulate organizational vitality and reshape competitive advantages. Although some progress has been made in the field of intrapreneurship, the research topics in this field are still scattered, with numerous concepts remaining to be clarified and integrated, and a systematic research framework is eagerly required. In this regard, this review aims to sort out existing intraprenurial researches utilizing literature review and bibliometric analysis. Firstly, we compare the concept of “intrapreneurship” with related concepts, such as “corporate entrepreneurship”, “entrepreneurial orientation” and “strategic entrepreneurship”, in order to make clear its core connotation. Based on the above work, we collect 252 papers from SSCI index database in Web of Science, and also 50 ones from CSSCI index database in CNKI, by typing key words as “intrapreneurship” or “internal corporate venturing”, with the published year between 1983 and 2019. Afterwards, keyword co-occurrence and co-citation analysis are performed in CiteSpace software to describe the overall overview of intrapreneurship research. We find that there are three research levels that can be separated on intrapreneurship research, which are organizational, individual and new business unit levels. At the organizational level, entrepreneurial organizations are responsible for setting the tones for entrepreneurial activities inside the organization, by formulating and implementing intrapreneurial strategies. The individual level belongs to the individual employee of the organization, that is, the intrapreneur. These individuals’ behavior is not only a response to the entrepreneurial strategy, but also an important cornerstone of the company’s entrepreneurship and its strategy update. At the new business unit level, the entrepreneurial subject is internal corporate ventures（ICVs）. Their incubation and growth are the main tasks throughout the entire intrapreneurial activities. Based on this literature review, five directions are discussed for future research:（1）Focus more on specific intrapreneurial phenomena, including the design of intrepreneurial strategies, the type selection of strategy implementation, and the evolution of its strategy implementation process.（2）Explore the driving mechanism of employees’ entrepreneurial behavior in a more comprehensive and dynamic way.（3）Conduct more contextualized qualitative studies to explore how intrapreneurs can exert their initiative while being well-embedded in the organizational structure.（4）Focus on its different levels; meanwhile, an integrated research combining multi-levels is also required in intrapreneurship research.（5）Deeply analyze characteristic practices in the Chinese context, to reveal unique phenomena and rules in intrapreneurship in China. In conclusion, this review presents the multi-level research streams on intrapreneurship research, by systematically integrating the existing but scattered researches. It is helpful in promoting the understanding and further expansion of the multi-level research topics. Besides, it can also provide certain inspiration for intrapreneurial management practice.
Entrepreneurship as Venturing: A Review on Intrapreneurship Based on a Multi-level Perspective
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 43, Issue 02, pp. 123 - 139 (2021) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.20200918.402
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Cite this article
Zhu Yali, Guo Changwei. Entrepreneurship as Venturing: A Review on Intrapreneurship Based on a Multi-level Perspective[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2021, 43(2): 123-139.