Work Context and Employee Behaviour as Antecedents for Intrapreneurship

30 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2013

See all articles by J.P.C. Rigtering

J.P.C. Rigtering

Utrecht University - School of Economics

Utz Weitzel

VU University Amsterdam

Date Written: January 10, 2013


Intrapreneurial employees and intrapreneurial projects are considered to be an important driver of innovation and strategic renewal within companies. While many studies addressed the top-down implementation of innovative projects, analyses of employee initiatives in promoting innovation within companies are scarce. This paper therefore takes a bottom-up approach and focuses on employee behaviour and how it can be stimulated towards intrapreneurship. We propose and test a two-step model where formal and informal work context affects employees’ intrapreneurial behaviour, which then provides the basis for bottom-up initiated intrapreneurial projects. Our empirical data consist of questionnaire responses of 176 employees in six Dutch companies. The results of structural equation model estimations indicate that formal organisational factors (horizontal participation, resource availability) affect employees’ intrapreneurial behaviour, but also highlight informal factors such as trust in the direct manager. We also find that innovativeness and personal initiative, but not risk taking, play a role for an effective translation of employees’ behaviour into intrapreneurial projects.

Keywords: Intrapreneurship, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Orientation, Social Exchange Theory, Trust in Manager, Organisational Structure

Suggested Citation

Rigtering, J.P.C. and Weitzel, Utz, Work Context and Employee Behaviour as Antecedents for Intrapreneurship (January 10, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

J.P.C. Rigtering

Utrecht University - School of Economics ( email )

Kriekenpitplein 21-22
Adam Smith Building
Utrecht, +31 30 253 7373 3584 EC

Utz Weitzel (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105

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