Posted: 17 Nov 2009

See all articles by Robert Hisrich

Robert Hisrich

Thunderbird, School of Global Management - Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship

Date Written: 1990


Examines characteristics of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship from a psychological perspective. Intrapreneurship is a hybrid form: entrepreneurs in an existing corporate setting, and sharing the same entrepreneurial spirit. The psychological characteristics of entrepreneurs are summarized under six headings: (1) their desire and capabilities for starting businesses; (2) childhood family environment, including birth order and parents' occupation; (3) educational level of entrepreneur and sponsor; (4) personal values (attitudes toward management and business), age, experience, and motivation; (5) role models and support systems (moral support and professional support networks); and (6) male versus female. Contrasts between traditional managers, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs are drawn. Corporate culture is hierarchic, inflexible, favors conservative decision-making and established procedures; traditional managers focus on the short-term, are motivated by promotion and typical rewards. The entrepreneurial-intrapreneurial culture requires creativity, flexibility, independence, and risk-taking; its climate develops visions, goals, and actions, rewards actions, experiments, created and develop regardless of area, and take responsibility and ownership. The culture of the intrapreneurial firm has a flat structure, with networking teamwork, sponsors, mentors, close working relationships, and an atmosphere of trust and counsel. Intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs expect suitable rewards, are moderate risk takers, and build strong relationship with those around them. Characteristics of successful intrapreneurs and steps in implementing an intrapreneurial environment (and managing creativity) are identified. Nine characteristics of the intrapreneurial climate are that: it operates on the frontier of technology, it encourages experimentation, it doesn't inhibit creative problem-solving, the firm's resources are available and accessible, it encourages a multidisciplinary team-work approach, intrapreneurship is voluntary, intrapreneurship is appropriately rewarded, there are sponsors and champions, and top management wholeheartedly supports and embraces intrapreneurship. (TNM)

Keywords: Role models, Champions, Family background, Educational background, Intrapreneurs, Corporate ventures, Psychological traits, Firm management, Organizational cultures, Entrepreneurial environment, Personal values

Suggested Citation

Hisrich, Robert, Entrepreneurship/Intrapreneurship (1990). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1505239

Robert Hisrich (Contact Author)

Thunderbird, School of Global Management - Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship ( email )

1 Global Place
Glendale, AZ 85306
United States

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