History and Use of Intrapreneurship
By Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D.
Intrapreneurship, which is also known as Corporate Entrepreneurship, has been used around the world by major public companies and private companies for several decades. Intrapreneurship has been used successfully in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. Intrapreneurship is based on the concept of using entrepreneurial skills within an established firm by encouraging innovation by employees. These employees can use start-up business techniques within a firm (large, medium, or small) to create new products or services from existing products or services, or create new synergistic products or services for the company. This is accomplished by allowing and fostering non traditional thinking and by encouraging and supporting the use of “out of the box thinking” within the firm.
A wide range of organizations can effectively and successfully utilize Intrapreneurship. These could include public as well as private corporations, business partnerships, and non-profit organizations. Intrapreneurship has a proven track record of successfully and profitably being used to create new product and services. Intrapreneurship can create a new profitable subsidiary or a division within the sponsoring firm. Intrapreneurship has been used to help a sponsoring firm to grow faster and more profitable.
There are dozens and dozens of existing formal (and informal) Intrapreneurship programs which are being utilized around the world. These enlightened and open minded firm/organizations encourage their employees’ creativity by allowing them free time to create and then develop innovative ideas or services for the firm. Some companies foster employee creativity with the creation of formal intrapreneurship programs, while others are not structured but are an informal program. Intrapreneurship Programs very widely in their use, range, focus, limitations, freedom, structure. Incentives to employees for the successful creation of a product, service, or division are also varied.
The aircraft manufacture, Lockheed, used the basic concepts of corporate entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship in the 1950’s when it created their “Skunk Works” operation. This was a brilliant and successful example of corporate entrepreneurship (or Intrapreneurship) which operated for over 20 years before the articles and books about the subject emerged in 1985. The fundamental concept of Intrapreneurship has been used successfully by many major companies to create new products and services, thereby increasing sales and profits, for nearly fifty years.
The first formal academic case study of Intrapreneurship was done at the rapidly growing Super Mini Computer firm, PR1ME Computer Inc. from 1977 to 1980, by Haller as his Masters in Management Thesis in June 1982 (later published as an academic book). PR1ME successfully and effectively used Intrapreneurship to grow from a small OTC listed company to become the Number 1 performing company listed on the NYSE. Within 4 years PR1ME’s sales grew from $50 Million to $480 Million while maintaining strong profit margins. As a matter of fact, Dr. Howard Edward Haller’s 1982 University published intrapreneurship academic research and “real world” case study is cited in Wikipedia.com’s definition of the history of Intrapreneurship.
Two and half years later, “TIME” magazine published an article in the February 4, 1985 issue entitled “Here come the Intrapreneurs.” Time’s article about Intrapreneur’s included, “In 1975 Stephen Wozniak, then a 25-year-old designer at Hewlett-Packard, went to his boss with the idea of a microcomputer that could be hooked up to a home television set. The firm was not interested. Wozniak therefore started his own company with Steven Jobs, a friend working at Atari. The company: Apple Computer had Sales last year: $1.5 billion.” Apple has continued to grown significantly since that 1985 article.
Apple’s Chairman, then and now, Steve Jobs, in his own article in “Newsweek” further popularizing the word ‘intrapreneurship’ in the media in the September 30, 1985 issue, in which he said, “The Macintosh team was what is commonly known as Intrapreneurship… a group of people going, in essence, back to the garage, but in a large company.”
Professor Dr. Rosabeth Kanter, of the Harvard University School of Business suggested that the concept of using corporate entrepreneurship (Intrapreneurship) within a firm or organization could generate revenue and enable the firm to be able to survive tough economic times. By the 1990′s, the intrapreneurship was well established within business literature. In 1990, Graduate Professor Kanter emphasized the significant importance of intrapreneurship in her book, “When Giants Learn to Dance”. She made a case that the creation and support by companies of Intrapreneurship programs could be a major key factor in not only ensuring the success of the firm, but possibly effect the very survival of a company.
By the 1990′s corporations and organizations began formally encouraging “intrapreneurship” – some firms created specific intrapreneurship programs with time allocations for employees to work on innovative intrapreneurial ideas, products, or services. Recent examples of the successful use of Intrapreneurship techniques can be found in major corporations including, but not limited to: 3M, Anaconda-Ericsson, Apple Computer, Autodesk, Corona Data Systems, Caribou Coffee, Gateway, GE, Genetech, Google, IBM, INTEL, iRobot, Kodak, Lockheed-Martin, PR1ME Computer, Sony, Sun Microsystems, TeleCommunications, Texas Instruments, Toyota, W. L. Gore, and Yahoo.
Copyright (C) 1982-2012, Intrapreneurship Institute and Dr. Howard Edward Haller
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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.