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Intra-Preneurship and enrolment: building networks of ideas

Whittle, Andrea and Mueller, Frank 2008. Intra-Preneurship and enrolment: building networks of ideas. Organization 15 (3) , pp. 445-462. 10.1177/1350508408088539

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In this paper we draw on and develop an actor-network perspective on organizational entrepreneurship—the study of enterprising behaviour within the firm. Based on the findings of an in-depth study of management consultants in a UK telecommunications firm, we argue that ideas do not flourish because they are inherently more `enterprising' or `innovative' than others, but rather because of the success (or otherwise) of the process of `enrolment'. Our study shows that the consultants were not `intermediaries without discretion', tasked with the diffusion of an already-established template. Rather, they acted as mediators by actively seeking to construct and maintain a network around their idea. By revealing the political tactics and power plays involved in this enrolment process, our study contributes to the actor-network literature by highlighting the link to organizational power and politics. The study also contributes by drawing attention to the subjectivity of network-builders—an issue often left under-explored in actor-network studies. We illuminate the identity processes involved in organizational entrepreneurship, including the link to systems of organizational control. This was fuelled by a mixture of anxiety, insecurity and the desire to be recognized as an `intra-preneur'.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Actor Network Theory ; Enterprise ; Identity ; Mediator.
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 1350-5084
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:30

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