Title: Hybridisation of the profiles of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs: the case of French biotechnology SMEs

Authors: Maria Bonnafous-Boucher, Erwan Lamy

Addresses: Entrepreneurship & Trade Centers, ADVANCIA-NEGOCIA, 8 avenue de la Porte de Champerret, 75017 Paris, France. ' Entrepreneurship Research Center, ADVANCIA, 39 boulevard Trudaine, 75009 Paris, France

Abstract: Since Powell|s work in 1966, it has generally been accepted that interfirm links between large drug companies and biotechnology SMEs have a positive impact on the R&D performances of these SMEs. However, a number of recent studies have called this view into question, at least in the French context. The findings of these studies suggest that interfirm links can, to some degree, have a deleterious effect on the intrapreneurial dynamism of small high-tech companies. We met with a number of bio-entrepreneurs to identify the problems created for intrapreneurship by interfirm links, basing our approach on the notion of interfirm intrapreneurship (Antoncic, 2001) and on the idea of the plurality of types of intrapreneurs (Shinn and Lamy, 2006). In effect, not everyone reacts in the same manner to the obstacles standing in the way of their intrapreneurial success. We have focused on two main types of intrapreneurs. Members of the first type focus on relationships characterized by trust and are particularly sensitive to any form of control mechanism; while members of the second type base their approach on a clear division of labour between SMEs and large companies and are relatively favourable to normative constraints.

Keywords: inter-firm intrapreneurship; biotechnology; R&D collaboration; research and development; hybridisation; France; drug companies; pharmaceutical industry; intrapreneurial dynamism; high-tech companies; profiles; profiling; bioentrepreneurs; plurality; obstacles; success; relationships; trust; control mechanisms; divisions of labour; large companies; normative constraints; coordination; typologies; typology; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; entrepreneurship; entrepreneurs; intrapreneurs; intrapreneuriality.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2010.033575

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2010 Vol.10 No.3, pp.410 - 427

Published online: 06 Jun 2010 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article