What is an intrapreneur?
Why might a business opt to combine “closed” and “open” sources in its ideation and innovation activities?
Intrapreneurs are self-motivated, proactive and action-oriented individuals who take the initiative to turn an idea into a profitable finished product through risk taking. Intrapreneurs are typically employees within an organization. An intrapreneur recognizes that failure of a project has no personal cost but rather the company’s pays for losses incurred (Antoncic and Hisrich, 2003).
Traditionally, the research and development department within a corporation is the main source of innovation, but increased demands are also best suited to opening up innovation to the outside world. There are two approaches to innovation: open and closed (Marques, 2014).
Closed innovation companies function from the view that inventions are produced by employees within a company. From ideation to production and marketing, the creative process takes place exclusively inside the business. All technology, know-how, intellectual property and processes remain under the control of the closed innovation business. This results in high demand and pressure being placed on employees (Le, Dao, Pham and Tran, 2019).
Open innovative businesses extend the process of innovation to tentities such as customers, suppliers, users, employees and competitors to increase innovative capacity by making use of the environment around them. This occurs by integrating internal and external concepts, methods, technology and distribution channels with the goal of delivering the most creative goods and services (Walecka-Jankowska and Zimmer, 2019).
Open innovation helps expand an employee’s own entrepreneurial awareness and knowledge. It therefore should not be a replacement for closed innovation. The afro mentioned entities should be seen as complementary to a company’s own processes of innovation. However, in order to efficiently incorporate and use external expertise, the prerequisite for opening up to the outside world is secure internal innovation systems and processes (Felin and Zenger, 2014).
Antoncic, B. and Hisrich, R., 2003. Clarifying the intrapreneurship concept. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 10(1), pp.7-24.
Felin, T. and Zenger, T., 2014. Closed or open innovation? Problem solving and the governance choice. Research Policy, 43(5), pp.914-925.
Le, H., Dao, Q., Pham, V. and Tran, D., 2019. Global trend of open innovation research: A bibliometric analysis. Cogent Business & Management, 6(1)
Marques, J., 2014. Closed versus Open Innovation: Evolution or Combination?. International Journal of Business and Management, 9(3).
Walecka-Jankowska, K. and Zimmer, J., 2019. Open innovation in the context of organisational strategy. Engineering Management in Production and Services, 11(3), pp.86-95
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