Title: Intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs and spin-off entrepreneurs: similarities and differences

Authors: Torben Bager, Hannes Ottosson, Thomas Schott

Addresses: International Danish Entrepreneurship Academy, University of Southern Denmark, Engstien 1, Kolding 6000, Denmark. ' Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management, University of Southern Denmark, Engstien 1, Kolding 6000, Denmark. ' Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management, University of Southern Denmark, Engstien 1, Kolding 6000, Denmark

Abstract: The topic concerning intrapreneurs pursuing new ventures within established firms is underresearched, despite the booming literature on corporate venturing. We know little about whether intrapreneurs are especially competent, proactive, innovative, growth-oriented and risk takers – and how well they perform. These issues are addressed by comparing intrapreneurs with commoners and with entrepreneurs starting new firms, and also by comparing spin-off entrepreneurs starting a new firm based on an existing firm with independent entrepreneurs. Our comparisons use two data sets: our Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey of adults in Denmark with follow-up interviews of intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs and commoners, and our survey of newly established entrepreneurs in a typical county in Denmark. Comparisons reveal that intrapreneurs are more competent and growth-oriented than entrepreneurs. Likewise, spin-off entrepreneurs are more competent and growth-oriented than independent entrepreneurs, and spin-off firms quickly reach higher performance. These similarities and differences among intrapreneurs, spin-off entrepreneurs and independent entrepreneurs offer directions for a deeper understanding of both internal and external venturing.

Keywords: corporate venturing; spin-off entrepreneurs; corporate entrepreneurship; internal venturing; external venturing; independent entrepreneurs; risk taking; competences; growth orientation; new business ventures; proactive behaviour; innovativeness; innovation; commoners; new firms; spin-offs; Global Entrepreneurship Monitor; Denmark; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; intrapreneurship; intrapreneurs; intrapreneuriality .

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2010.033572

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2010 Vol.10 No.3, pp.339 - 358

Available online: 06 Jun 2010 *

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