Entrepreneurial behaviour amongst larger companies in the New Zealand retail sector - an investigation into the value of corporate entrepreneurship

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Durkan, Therese
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Master of Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Unitec Institute of Technology
Simpson, Ken
Gunaratne, Asoka
Masters Dissertation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
corporate entrepreneurship
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Durkan, T. (2005). Entrepreneurial behaviour amongst larger companies in the New Zealand retail sector - an investigation into the value of corporate entrepreneurship. Unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Unitec New Zealand, New Zealand.
Corporate entrepreneurship is the term used to describe entrepreneurial behaviour in an established, larger organisation (Burns, 2005), and incorporates an ambitious though simple objective to gain competitive advantage by encouraging innovation at all levels in the organisation. Corporate entrepreneurship is sometimes known as intrapreneurship, a term first espoused by Pinchot (1985) to describe a philosophy that tries to bring the external characteristics of entrepreneurs to bear inside a large corporate setting. To focus on this important issue of intrapreneuring as part of corporate entrepreneurship practise the main aim of this research was to explore the ways in which large companies in the New Zealand retail sector value corporate entrepreneurship. To achieve this aim, qualitative data was collected through in-depth face-to-face interviews with eight people (mainly from top-management) from four larger companies in the Auckland region, New Zealand. The subsequent data analysis and discussion focus largely on key factors relating to the recognition of entrepreneurial behaviour within the organisation, the value of entrepreneurial behaviour to the organisation, and the outcomes which have already occurred because of such behaviour. The findings suggest intrapreneuring is seen as a central part of corporate entrepreneurship practice and is widely recognised as important by organisations. The results also demonstrate that many large organisations value entrepreneurship, although to a varying degree. However, the majority of interviewees see themselves, as individuals, in a more entrepreneurial light than their organisations, suggesting that intrapreneurship may occur despite the organisation rather than because of it. The implications of this research suggest that many large organisations do put value on intrapreneurship, and are equipped with the essential tools needed in order for it to flourish, but need to more proactively work towards fostering its introduction as a core competency within the firm. Academics and practitioners alike are encouraged to explore these issues more deeply, and the study concludes by suggesting a number of avenues for further research.
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