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Working Paper No. 1367

Intrapreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive

Working Paper
Elert, Niklas and Mikael Stenkula (2020). “Intrapreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive”. IFN Working Paper No. 1367. Stockholm: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN).

Niklas Elert, Mikael Stenkula

Researchers increasingly recognize that entrepreneurial employees, intrapreneurs, play a critical role in innovation. As with regular entrepreneurship, however, the value of intrapreneurial activity depends on the firm-specific and societal reward structures that intrapreneurs face. Ideally, these rules of the game are such that they reward intrapreneurship that is beneficial for the firm and the economy. When this is not the case, intrapreneurship can be beneficial for the firm but not for society, damaging for the firm yet beneficial for society, or downright destructive. We offer a taxonomy describing how society’s rules and firm rules interact to produce different intrapreneurial outcomes.