Identifying barriers to intrapreneurship: a systems theory approach

Kevin Reuther, Edward P. Borodzicz, Christian-Andreas Schumann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
481 Downloads (Pure)


Intrapreneurship became a research topic of wide academic interest in recent times. Building upon previous work that focused on single aspects or influence factors that impact the success of intrapreneurial activities, this paper suggests a holistic systems theory-based approach to assess possible barriers of intrapreneurship in organizations. After an outline of previous work on intrapreneurship in general and possible related threads and risk specifically, an adapted sensitivity analysis method of Vester (2000) is applied to develop a draft model of interconnected influence factors for intrapreneurial activities in organizations. This conceptual model should serve as a basis for further empirical research on the subject and supports the understanding of interdependencies between variables in an organizational system. In accordance with findings from analyzing the literature, the application of the method to a single-case study suggests that possible barriers to intrapreneurship can be a lack of skills, creativity, knowledge or motivation of employees to act as intrapreneurs on the individual level; the organizational culture, its management, the provided working environment and a lack of agility and rule breaking tolerance on the organizational level as well as the current market situation. Future research could make use of this approach and empirically validate the results or extend them through comparative studies of successful and unsuccessful intrapreneurial activities. It could be further enhanced through semantic modelling to illustrate and capture the network of interdependencies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 IEEE International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation (ICE/ITMC)
Subtitle of host publicationConference Proceedings ICE/IEEE ITMC 2018, Stuttgart, 17.06. - 20.06.18
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781538614693
ISBN (Print)9781538614709
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2018
EventInternational Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation 2018: Era of Connectedness: The Future of Technology, Engineering & Innovation in a Digital Society - Hospitalhof Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
Duration: 17 Jun 201820 Jun 2018 (Conference website)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation 2018
Abbreviated titleICE/IEEE ITMC Conference 2018
Internet address


  • Intrapreneurship
  • Corporate entrepreneurship
  • Risk
  • Innovation
  • Systems theory


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