Introduction to Corporate Entrepreneurship or “Intrapreneurship” from a “street smart” Intrapreneur (Corporate Entrepreneur)
By Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D. is Professional Keynote Speaker, Published Intrapreneurship Book Author, the Leading Expert and Thought Leader on Intrapreneurship, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship Program Creation, Using Intrapreneurship programs as a strategic tool for Recruiting and Retaining Key Employees, and Using Intrapreneurship to Increase Innovation and Foster Creativity.
The word, in-tra-pre-neur (In tre-pre-nur) did not exist in the dictionary until 1975-1980. The dictionary defines intrapreneur as “an employee of a large corporation who is given freedom and financial support to create new products, services, systems, etc., and [who] does not have to follow the corporation’s usual routine or protocols.” (Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, p.1001). This textbook definition is a little naive and simply not realistic within a typical large corporation. In spite of this somewhat incomplete definition, Intrapreneurship has been used successfully in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa.
History of Intrapreneurship
“History–The first written use of the terms ‘intrapreneur,’ ‘intrapreneuring,’ and ‘intrapreneurship’ date from a paper written in 1978 by Gifford & Elizabeth Pinchot. Later the term was credited to Gifford Pinchot III by Norman Macrae in the April 17, 1982 issue of The Economist. The first formal academic case study of corporate entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship was published in June 1982, as a Master’s in Management Thesis, by Howard Edward Haller, on the intrapreneurial creation of PR1ME Leasing within PR1ME Computer Inc. (from 1977 to 1981). This academic research was later published as a case study by VDM Verlag as Intrapreneurship Success: A PR1ME Example by Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language included the term ‘intrapreneur’ in its 3rd 1992 Edition…”
The term “intrapreneurship” was used in the popular media first in February 1985 by TIME magazine article “Here come the Intrapreneurs” and then the same year in another major popular publication was in a quote by Steve Jobs, Apple Computer’s Chairman, in an interview in the September 1985 Newsweek article, where he shared, “The Macintosh team was what is commonly known as intrapreneurship; only a few years before the term was coined—a group of people going, in essence, back to the garage, but in a large company.”
Anyone who has worked in a large corporation knows that in most cases a rigid set of corporate rules, corporate standard operating procedures, and corporate policies exists for almost everything and anything. Yet, some enlightened corporations do allow an employee-intrapreneur limited freedom to pursue new ideas. To overcome the roadblocks of formal structure and a very slow moving corporate bureaucracy, the intrapreneur must convince senior management that the new, “out of the box” idea has merit, market, and would be both profitable and synergistic to the corporate mission.
An intrapreneur is really an entrepreneur who has less risk in a venture. He also has much less control of when, or whether, the product will be launched. Being an intrapreneur takes a unique set of skills beyond creativity, including being willing to take some risks at sharing and pushing an unique idea, having the perseverance to wait for senior management’s approval to create and launch the product or service, and the drive to see it through to fruition, no matter what.
The terms and basic concepts of both intrapreneuring and intrapreneurship existed in corporations for decades before Apple’s Chairman, Stephen Jobs popularized the term “intrapreneurship” in his article in the September 30, 1985 issue of Newsweek, in which he said, “The Macintosh team was what is commonly known as intrapreneurship-only a few years before the term was coined – a group of people going, in essence, back to the garage, but in a large company.”
Norman Macrae (The Economist, 1976) predicted a number of trends in business – one of them being “that dynamic corporations of the future should simultaneously be trying alternative ways of doing things in competition within themselves.” Macrae reaffirmed that idea in a second article in The Economist in 1982. In 1985 management consultant Gifford Pinchot III entitled his book “Intrapreneuring.”
Author John Naisbett (1986) cited “intrapreneurship” as a way for established businesses to find new markets and new products in his book, “Re-Inventing the Corporation” The concept was established enough that in 1990 Rosabeth Moss Kanter of Harvard Business School discussed in her book, “When Giants Learn to Dance” intrapreneurial development as a key factor in ensuring the survival of the company.
Tom Nies, CEO of Cincom has noted that “A key element of intrapreneurship is the ability of a company to support expedited decision-making processes.” Nies continued “Intrapreneurs above all else thrive on the freedom.”
Copyright (C) 1982-2012, Intrapreneurship Institute and Dr. Howard Edward Haller
Contact info for Dr. Howard Haller and the Intrapreneurship Institute:
To book Dr. Howard Edward Haller to deliver a custom Keynote Speech or insightful Executive Briefing on Intrapreneurship, Intrapreneurship Program Creation or Increasing Innovation, Creativity or Product Creation:
Please call Dr. Haller directly at: 509 465-9300,
or email: DrHaller@IntrapreneurshipInstitute.com
or visit the Contact Section on our website: Contact Dr. Haller and The Intrapreneurship Institute
Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D. is Professional Keynote Speaker on Intrapreneurship, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship Program Creation, Using Intrapreneurship programs as a strategic tool for Recruiting and Retaining Key Employees, and Using Intrapreneurship to Increase Innovation and Foster Creativity.
Dr. Howard Edward Haller is a “street smart” serial Intrapreneur and Entrepreneur, and is the Leading Expert and Thought Leader on Intrapreneurship, Intrapreneurship Program Creation, Intrapreneurship Program Implementation & Operation, and Entrepreneurship.
Dr. Haller is also a University Graduate Business School Professor, major University Trustee (Emeritus), and past University Board President, as well as a seasoned Senior Corporate Executive of major public and private companies. Haller was the Founder and Managing Director of Anaconda-Ericsson Finance and Leasing Inc.(for Anaconda-Ericsson Inc., the ARCO & LM Ericsson Joint Venture) Dr. Haller was Senior Vice President of United Artist/Tele-Communications Inc., where he managed assets in excess of $4 Billion.
Howard Edward Haller’s groundbreaking 1982 University published academic research on intrapreneurship is cited by Wikipedia.org in their “History of Intrapreneurship” entry. In addition, Dr. Haller’s 2009 published intrapreneurship book “Intrapreneurship Success: A PR1ME Example” is also cited by Wikipedia.org in their “History of Intrapreneurship.”
Book Dr. Howard Edward Haller to speak or consult with your entire firm or your senior executive on Intrapreneurship, Corporate Entrepreneurship , Intrapreneurship Program Creation or Increasing Innovation with your company.