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Interest in intrapreneurship continues to grow

May 4, 2022

A company’s intrapreneurship, or capacity for innovation, is crucial to its success. During 2016–2019, the Karl-Adam Bonnier Foundation funded the research project Intrapreneurship Compass with the aim of strengthening knowledge in a relatively unexplored area with great significance for the development of business in Sweden. One of the researchers on the team was Dr Katarina Blomkvist who states that a lot has happened since the project ended.

For four years, Dr Katarina Blomkvist worked intensively with understanding the systematics of intrapreneurship and how companies can consciously work to strengthen their intrapreneurial climate. When she and her colleagues, Professor Ivo Zander and Dr Philip Kappen, initiated the research project, few were aware of the concept.

– Intrapreneurship was not on everyone’s lips in 2015. Today it is a widely recognised concept. Almi runs projects with a focus on green intrapreneurs and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) has initiatives to strengthen intrapreneurship among companies. In addition, another dissertation on intrapreneurship was recently released, which is based on our research. A lot has happened, says Katarina.

Today, Katarina has one foot in academia and the other in business. Since 2020, she runs her own consulting company and helps established companies improve their innovative power. The network that she built up during the collaboration with the foundation has been extremely valuable for the development.

– It is inspiring and rewarding to work in both academia and business. This means that the new knowledge generated by our research is transformed into a concrete value and contributes to the development of companies, Katarina continues.

In parallel with her work for the company, she continues her research part-time at Uppsala University. The question in focus this time is how intrapreneurship has been affected by Covid-19 and crises in the world. By the autumn, they are ready to share their results.

– The pandemic and the geopolitical situation have changed the conditions. When Covid-19 hit with full force in 2020, all companies needed to change and the intrapreneurial climate was put to the test. Crises mean that we are forced to think afresh and find new ways and can sometimes accelerate development, says Katarina.

In an environment that is changing rapidly, the demands for change and innovative thinking are increasing and the knowledge that the Intrapreneurship Compass contributed with has had a multiplier effect.

– The foundation dared to believe in a concept that no one had raised or shown an interest in before 2015. It was a brave decision that has led to a new area starting to sprout, Katarina concludes.

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