RT Vol XIII Ch. 7 Intrapreneurs: The Lost Tribe
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker®: Vol XIII: Entrepreneurship: Growing the Future of Business


Intrapreneurs are a lost tribe in corporate America stated Clay (2015), and may in part due to the advent of the cotton gin in 1793 that began intrapreneurs’ disappearance (Douglas, 1928). As people became dependent on a livelihood not of their own making, the intrapreneur spirit became subservient to the needs of the business that paid them. Macrae (1982) stated, as a social construct, big business theory is what business schools have taught as the way to success and noted that small businesses have outperformed big companies in almost every way since the 1960s. The superior performance of small companies may indicate a place to find the intrapreneur spirit. To gain and sustain success, companies need to know the general and specific barriers to success (Salarzehi & Forouharfar, 2011). In part, business success entails understanding the value of intrapreneurs. Bourdeiu’s (1986) theory on forms of capital and habitus may show how intrapreneurs became lost through the volition of modern business. Forms of capital may have helped drive the loss of intrapreneurs, and their reemergence may evolve from change in symbolic, economic, cultural, social capital, and the rising voice of a generation. This chapter provides leaders insights into to the road map that lost the intrapreneurs they seek. Finding these intrapreneurs is a means to drive sustainability, profit and thus success in business. In every generation, refractive thinkers are keen observers, and can offer guidance toward finding intrapreneurs and creating sustainable success.
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