Evaluation of Intrapreneurship in Business Innovation – an analysis between Scale-ups and Big Corporations 1/2

Evaluation of Intrapreneurship in Business Innovation – an analysis between Scale-ups and Big Corporations 1/2

Welcome to our series of articles about current theses of our students!

The Alumna Nieki Hashemi has written an outstanding master thesis on “Evaluation of Intrapreneurship in Business Innovation – an analysis between Scale-ups and Big Corporations” as part of her Digital Management studies at the Hochschule Fresenius in Cologne. The summary is presented below. Read the first part now and look forward to the continuation on November 6, 2020!

Intrapreneurship – What is it actually?

Intrapreneurship is a method that encourages employees in a company to be independent, to think and act creatively and to lead the company to innovation and growth. It is often thought that entrepreneurship is closely related to a start-up. However, it should rather be seen as an act of creating value in different areas. These include, for example, the development of new products, services or business processes.

Include entrepreneurship in the innovation strategy

“Entrepreneurs can exist in companies, and companies need them more and more,” states Bill Aulet (Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship). Nevertheless, it is of great importance to include intrapreneurship in the innovation strategy of a company. The fact is that many companies are too caught up in their day-to-day business, so that they do not recognize new innovations and trends at all or too late. As a result, their existing business models threaten to become obsolete and superfluous.

The case of the camera manufacturer Kodak…

…shows how important it is for companies to continuously develop innovations in order to remain competitive: A Kodak employee developed the first digital camera. But because management did not recognize the need for the new product, the employee’s innovation was ignored. Another company, however, launched a digital camera, making Kodak’s business model unprofitable. The innovation lead they had built up was gone because the company had missed an important trend in their industry. It becomes clear that no company is immune to disruption and change and how important innovation is in the business environment and thus intrapreneurship.

Of failure and arrogance

More and more companies fail to maintain disruptive innovations in their industry. They are easily harassed by young start-ups that recognize their weaknesses and develop suitable new business models. In addition, companies are often not able to create a successful, innovative environment internally to ensure continuous improvement. This is especially true for Germany. The companies seem to be too arrogant and rely too much on their competitive advantages from the past decades.

The search for passion and self-realization

Awakening the inner entrepreneur in a person has often proven to be a highly effective practice. Modern man is increasingly looking for passion and self-fulfillment in both his private and professional life. Freedom, support and responsibility inspire their creativity and motivate them to gladly invest time and thought into the mission of the company. Employees want to be able to identify with their job and their managers, which is why the success of intrapreneurship depends to a large extent on leadership and management.

Support and motivation from the very top

Lack of management support and a wrong leadership attitude towards entrepreneurial thinking and acting in the business environment is one of the main problems companies face when promoting innovation. Managers need to motivate their employees and provide full support. They must encourage all employees to contribute and make them feel that they are part of the overall mission.


Summarized and edited by Louisa Roszinski