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ISSN : 2288-4637(Print)
ISSN : 2288-4645(Online)
The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business Vol.7 No.10 pp.129-139

Why Do Employees Behave Entrepreneurially? A Case of Thailand

2Assistant Professor, Doctor of Business Administration Program, Faculty of Business Administration, Ramkhamhaeng University, Thailand. Email:

© Copyright: The Author(s)
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
1First Author and Corresponding Author. Lecturer, Human Resource Management Department, Faculty of Management Science, Thepsatri Rajabhat University, Thailand [Postal Address: Amphur, 321 Narai Maharach Road, Thale Chup Son, Muang, Lopburi 15000, Thailand] Email:
July 18, 2020 August 23, 2020 September 03, 2020


The objective of this study is twofold: first, to investigate how organizations encourage factors that have an impact on employees’ entrepreneurial behavior from employee’s perspectives and experiences; and second, to discover how and why employees behave entrepreneurially within the organization. A case study method is considered as an appropriate approach to scrutinize intrapreneurial behavior because it principally concentrates on an investigation into a contemporary organizational phenomenon and context concerning entrepreneurial activities in-depth within its real situation. In data collection, an Asian multinational retail company was selected. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 24 executive-level employees who had been working in various departments for more than 5 years. Each in-depth interview lasts for a duration of 40 to 60 minutes. The results reveal several understandings into the combination of individual-level and organizational-level factors that promote the intrapreneurial behavior and activities of the established firm in the context of Thailand. In this regard, six factors have been found as the key determinants that make an impact on innovativeness, proactiveness, and risk-taking behaviour of the employees. Those factors are personal preference, organizational stability, management support, compensation, reward system, teamwork, quality of relationship with colleagues, work autonomy and the quality of relationship with the superiors.

JEL Classification Code: L2, M0, M1, M5


1. Introduction


In the 21st Century, intrapreneurship is one of the major interests for both business practitioners and social scientists. The main focus of this study is to understand the conditions that influence employees to behave entrepreneurially and the organizational factors that encourage entrepreneurship in employees or intrapreneurship (Arz, 2017; Rigtering & Weitzel, 2013). Stam et al. (2012) indicate that there are six groups of crucial factors that affect intrapreneurship which are dispositional traits, demography, cognitive  abilities, job design, work context, and the broader environment. In these factors, job design and work context are identified as organizational antecedents that can directly influence on intrapreneurship because they are initiated and managed by organizational policies and managerial practices.

Many empirical studies have exhibited that job description and work context are important factors contributing to intrapreneurship. Some studies have shown the connection of job design and intrapreneurship (Goodale, Kuratko, Hornsby, & Covin, 2011; Knight, 1987; Sun & Pan, 2009) but they are very much limited to work context and intrapreneurship (Dess et al. 2003; Hornsby, Kuratko, Shepherd, & Bott, 2009; Moriano, Molero, Topa, & Mangin, 2014; Wakkee, Elfring, & Monghan, 2010; Yang 2008).

Besides organizational factors, individual factors are also important to understand the intrapreneurship behavior of employees why some employees develop intrapreneurial behavior while others do not (Stull, 2005). The motivating factors associated with the individual personality, opportunities of a job promotion, and work experience within an organization are important factors to study because they can be the driver of intrapreneurial behavior (Carrier, 1996). However, research on corporate entrepreneurship mainly focuses on a top-down process or managers’ behavior of creating and strengthening competitive advantage through   managerial   disposition   (Licuanan,   Sengupta, &  Neelankavil,  2015;  Sebora  &  Theerapatvong,  2010; Sebora, Theerapatvong, & Lee, 2010). Empirical studies on what organizational and individual aspects influencing and motivating employees to develop intrapreneurial behavior, in particular Asian employees, is scarce (Hughes & Mustafa, 2017; Rigtering & Weitzel, 2013; Zellweger & Sieger, 2012).

Given the above considerations, the objective of this study is twofold: first, to investigate how organizations encourage factors that have an impact on employees’ intrapreneurial behavior, and second, to discover how and why employees behave entrepreneurially within the organization. The contribution of this study is threefold: first, there is limited evidence of the combination of management context and individual factors as drivers of employees’ intrapreneurial behavior because most intrapreneurship studies are concentrated on environmental and organizational factors contributing to intrapreneurial activities. Therefore, we discuss the combination of these factors that could describe the intensities of intrapreneurial behavior through a qualitative exploration and analysis. Second, while other case studies concentrate on managers’ perceptions and characteristics influencing on intrapreneurial behavior of employees, this paper presents a case study based on analysis of the perceptions and experiences of employees and managers in their natural setting. Third, this paper contributes to a growing consensus in the field of intrapreneurship research that empirical studies at different levels and categories are essential for improving the understanding of entrepreneurial practices and development within established organizations (Covin & Lumpkin 2011; Wales, Monsen, & McKelvie, 2011).


2. Literature Review


2.1. Corporate Entrepreneurship


According to Pinchot (1985), employees who think entrepreneurially, behave, and take responsibility for initiating, structuring, and developing any kind of innovation are regarded as intrapreneurs. The, entrepreneurial process within an organization where employees can identify new business opportunities, practice, and exercise their new ideas from originality to complete profitable reality is called intrapreneurship. In this respect, intrapreneurship is an important innovation that is originated and implemented by an individual or more individuals working inside an established organization (Carrier, 1996). Sharma and Chrisman (1999) view intrapreneurship as the process and form in which an employee or a group of employees can build and develop innovation for their organization.

Every organization has a different level of entrepreneurship. Although in a conservative firm, components of entrepreneurial behavior can be discovered at some places in government organizations where there are  bureaucratic  structures  and  systems,  one  can  find highly motivated entrepreneurial persons. Entrepreneurial organizations have been conceptualized to possess three main dimensions of entrepreneurship which are innovativeness, proactiveness, and risk-taking (Covin & Slevin 1991; Miller 1983; Miller & Friesen 1982; Morris, Kuratko, & Covin, 2011). At the firm level, innovativeness mostly emphasizes on an organization’s tendency to generate and foster new ideas, and also its creativity.

At the employee level, it refers to a combination of strong commitment and a set of processes for employees to involve in and promote new business opportunities and ideas that can result in new products, services, or technological process innovation. Product or service innovation concerns the design and advertising, while technological process innovation mainly concerns industrial process development (Lumpkin & Dess, 1996; Rauch, Wiklund, Lumpkin, & Frese, 2009). Proactiveness refers to actions of seeking and engaging on opportunities (Zellweger & Sieger, 2012) which are strongly related to a forward-looking perspective where employees engage in initiating and developing new products, services, or production processes ahead of the competition and working hard in anticipation of future potential demand to generate transformation and shape the environment (Dess & Lumpkin, 2005). In this respect, employees’ main responsibility is to strengthen or transform an organization to become the first mover in terms of introducing new products, services, or technological process innovations in the market (Lumpkin & Dess 1996; Rauch et al., 2009).

Regarding risk-taking, it refers to the willingness to take opportunities that may result in losses or major performance divergences (Miller & Friesen 1982). Entrepreneurship involves a reasonable awareness to the financial, technical, market, and human resources risks. Employees are responsible for making decisions to allocate these risks in various organizational resources and operations. Innovativeness and risk-taking are directly interrelated because working on innovative things and processes means taking higher risks and vice versa. However, the risk is more manageable and lower when employees are permitted to do lots of trials (Kuratko, Goldsby, & Hornsby, 2012; Morris et al., 2011).


2.2. Determinants of Intrapreneurial Behavior of Employees


According to the literature on corporate entrepreneurship, there are two main types of factors that influence the intrapreneurial behavior of employees within established organizations. First, the organizational factors in the context of which employees work (Croonen, Brand, & Huizingh, 2016). Second, the personal factors which is related to individual entrepreneurial perceptions or motivational factors that encourage employees’ innovativeness, proactiveness, and risk-taking appetite to integrate their ideas and firm’s resources to foster innovation (Carrier, 1996; Ireland, Covin, & Kuratko, 2009; Kuratko, Hornsby, & Bishop, 2005).


2.2.1. Organizational Antecedents of the Intrapreneurial Behavior of Employees

Empirical studies reveal that a firm’s internal factors have a direct effect on entrepreneurial behavior inside organizations Hornsby et al. (2009). Kuratko, Hornby and Covin (2014) identified five specific elements that are crucial factors which encourage entrepreneurial behavior are: Support from the top management, flexibility allowed in work, rewards and reinforcement, time availability, and organizational boundaries.

1) Top management support refers to the degree to which employees recognize that top executives encourage, facilitate, and assist entrepreneurial behavior, including the defending of new ideas and offering the resources employees need to take entrepreneurial The role of top management executive has been discovered as a determinant that encourages corporate entrepreneurship and has a direct positive correlation with employees’ innovative behavior and firm’s innovation (Piansoongnern, 2016). Hughes and Mustafa (2017) suggest that leaders should consider informal activities to enhance their relationship with employees.

2) Work discretion refers to the degree to which employees recognize that the organization tolerates failure, permits them to make decisions, give them autonomy from excessive supervision, and delegates rights and duties to lower-level leaders and co-workers. Once employees have the autonomy to make decisions concerning new ideas and innovative projects, their intrapreneurial behavior is usually exercised (Hornsby et , 2009; Piansoongnern, 2013)

3) Rewards and reinforcement encompass the degree to which an employee recognizes that the organization provides rewards in recognition of entrepreneurial activities and Rewards and resource accessibility have been recognized as a crucial antecedent of intrapreneurial behavior. The characteristics of varying reward schemes could affect employees’ conceptualization of benefits (Carraher, Hart, & Carraher, 2003) that influences them to take risks and perform in entrepreneurial modes. Monsen, Patzelt, and Saxton (2010) indicate that if employees are rewarded for exhibiting entrepreneurial behavior, they are more likely to involve in innovative, proactive, and risk-taking behavior.

4) Time availability refers to employees’ perception of how they are provided sufficient or extra time to pursue their innovative endeavors (Mustapa, Noor, & Mutalib, 2018). Employees need time to work on their new ideas and innovative activities (Hornsby, Kuratko, & Zahra, 2002). The responsibility of organizations is to structure workload and work schedules properly to allow enough time to achieve short-term and long-term goals of the organization (Sebora et , 2010). Time availability has been identified as an important factor that makes an impact on the entrepreneurial behavior of employees, particularly managers.

5) Organizational boundaries refer to the degree to which employees recognize that the organization has flexible processes and the development of these processes that are beneficial in diminishing uncertainty, barriers to exercise new ideas, and the prevention of entrepreneurial These processes can be achieved by setting  boundaries that persuade, direct, and enhance coordinated innovative behavior throughout the organization. Innovative outcomes emerge and can be effectively predicted when innovation is managed as a structured and purposeful process. This means uncertainty is kept at manageable stages. To achieve this, organizations are suggested to provide explanations of expected outcomes of the firm and developing instruments for assessing, selecting, and exercising innovations (Mappamiring, Akob, & Putra, 2020).

In the study of Antoncinc  and  Zorn  (2004)  about the mediating role of corporate entrepreneurship in the organizational-support-performance relationship, they point out that management support is one of the key factors which is beneficial in encouraging intrapreneurial behavior of employees. In this context, management support includes management encouragement, employees’ autonomy about job-related decisions, creating and developing processes to inspire and implement ideas, providing time and financial resources, rewards for creative and innovative activities, and implementation of a flexible work environment.

In the survey of 192 managers about entrepreneurial initiative selling of Clercq, Castaner, and Belausteguigoitia (2011), the main motivational factors of entrepreneurial initiative behavior are the organizational benefits of the initiative, consistency of the initiative and the current organizational practices, expected extrinsic rewards for initiatives, and the satisfaction of the current organizational situation.


2.2.2. Personal Antecedents of the Intrapreneurial Behavior of Employees


Besides organizational factors, there are several personal antecedents motivating employees to become intrapreneurs Mohanty (2006). When intrapreneurs can manage and overcome challenges, their entrepreneurial character allows them to decrease exhaustion from tough working situations Cox & Jennings (1995). According to Carrier (1996), personal factors influencing employees’ intrapreneurial behavior mainly depends on individual personality, characters, environment, experience, career objectives, and current or expected  future  rewards. Carrier (1996) categorized those factors into four groups which are intrinsic personality-related motivations, extrinsic reward-related motivations, experience, and future career goals motivations, and organizational context motivations.

1) Intrinsic personality-related motivations refer to the level of autonomy and freedom that employees can perform and develop their It also means employees’ interest, satisfaction, and sense of achievement of their job and perspectives on new chances, ideas, and developments of innovation.

2) Extrinsic reward-related motivations refer to the level of satisfaction towards the job, promotion, and a distinguished compensation system which employees cannot obtain from other

3 )Experience and future career goals motivations refer to the desire and experience of individuals to work as entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs. It also refers to the intention or expectation of going back into the business they were in as well as ones of going forward to pursue their entrepreneurial goals in the

4) Organizational context motivations refer to any circumstances inside the organization that allows employees to exercise their entrepreneurial It also relates to management style, a sense of belonging, a shared vision about entrepreneurial undertakings, and the quality of the relationship with colleagues and leaders as a team member.

Bager, Ottoson, and Schott (2010) say that the personal motivations and attitudes accelerate the effect of individual traits on intrapreneurial behavior because intrapreneurs are more action-oriented. More recent studies have examined that self-motivation, autonomy, ability to use self-initiatives and develop expertise, be a respected professional, and factors that connect to incentives are catalyzers of employees’ intrapreneurial attitudes and behaviors (Amo, 2006; Chan et al., 2017; Franco & Pinto, 2017; Wunderer, 2001). Linán (2008) reveal that employees who perceive and trust that they have more entrepreneurial skills feel more positive and report higher scores on entrepreneurial self-confidence and self-efficacy. Watchravesringkan et al. (2013) confirm that employees’ perceptions of their skills positively mediate the relationship between individual traits and entrepreneurial intentions. In contrast, employees may lack entrepreneurial self-efficacy if they have less ability to control other organizational factors in the innovation building process (Douglas & Fitzsimmons, 2013; Sopiah, Kurniawan, Nora, & Narmaditya, 2020).

Combining a variety of antecedents in the above discussion, it is seen that factors affecting corporate entrepreneurship are heterogeneous. In this regard, understanding employees’ entrepreneurial behavior requires more qualitative studies rather than depending on quantitative studies (Hayton, Hornsby, & Bloodgood, 2013; Nason, McKelvie, & Lumpkin, 2015; Phan, Wright, Ucbasaran, & Tan, 2009) because this intrapreneurial behavior can emerge across different organizational contexts unexpectedly (Chadwick & Dabu, 2009; Hayton et al., 2013). Therefore, this research is designed to conduct qualitative research for investigating and understanding the reasons for those factors and contexts from employees’ perspectives, experience, and assessments, respectively.


3. Research Methodology


According to some researchers (Hayton et al., 2013; Nason et al., 2015; Phan et al., 2009), quantitative approach which is widely used is insufficient for studying intrapreneurial behavior. Those scholars indicate that qualitative study is more required rather than depending on prior deductive or quantitative studies because intrapreneurial behavior can emerge across different organizational contexts unexpectedly (Chadwick & Dabu, 2009; Hayton et al., 2013). The objective of qualitative research is to explore “how” an organization can encourage  intrapreneurial behavior  in its  employees and “why” the employees should get involved in strategic projects and help in enhancing the competitiveness of the firm. In this regard, a case study method is considered as an appropriate approach to scrutinize intrapreneurial behavior because it principally concentrates on an investigation into a contemporary organizational phenomenon and context concerning entrepreneurial activities in depth within its real situation (Yin, 2009). In this regard, an Asian multinational company has been selected as a case study because it is a market leader which is operating in Thailand’s retail industry for more than 25 years and the employees who are working in the executive-level position are identified as the kind of talent which is highly demanded by the competitors.

For data collection, semi-structured interviews have been carried out with 24 executive-level employees who are working within various departments of the company for more than 5 years. An individual in-depth interview technique is adopted for obtaining data. Each in-depth interview lasts about 40 to 60 minutes. During the interview, contents are focused and discussed along with the three themes: 1) personal data and professional career experience; 2) employees’ perceptions on management practices and supports  that allow employees to exercise their entrepreneurial activities; and 3) personal motivation to act entrepreneurially. In data analysis, content analysis is employed to evaluate, compare, and formulate the themes, stories, and patterns in the data. As qualitative research aims to investigate the phenomenon in its natural setting, the researchers also analyze data during the interview. The main purpose of this practice is to gain insight, real thoughts, and direct experience of the interviewees. In this regard, the communication of perceptions and experience particularly the number of repeat messages, sentences, and words are the unit of measurement. To enhance the reliability and validity of the qualitative data, the triangulation of multiple data sources is utilized. It increases the validity because the interview data are obtained from the interviewees who are selected from a variety of departments and positions.




4. Results and Discussion


4.1. Professional Career Experience


Personal   preference   and   organizational    stability are indicated as the main factors that motivate the key informants to work with the company. When the researchers request them to rank and describe these two factors, personal preference is ranked first because there is a strong connection between the key informants’ personal preference and the firm’s nature of business. The majority indicates that this is a dream workplace where they desire to settle down their career. It is not only a chance to get a good job but also a new chance to develop ideas, knowledge, and skills. Personal preference is indicated as one of the important factors that encourage employee’s intrapreneurial behavior. It increases employee’s self-confidence when they have to describe or discuss with the customers about the products and services. The key informants point out that they understand the feeling of the customers because they both share the same feeling, expectation, and goals to some degree. Once they perceive the company astheir home, they would also like to share those feelings with the customer and create new ways of doing things for the company. This result is in line with Bager et al. (2010) and Carrier (1996) who indicate that personal motivation and attitude accelerates the effect of individual traits on intrapreneurial behavior.


“I decided to work here because I love reading and visiting the library. I felt comfortable when I saw that job advertisement. Till now, I feel that I made the right choice because there are plenty of books that are waiting to be read.” (Case 3)


“My job is similar to that of a librarian. I have many books to read and consider it as a hobby. When I have free time, I always walk around the shelves and choose the book I would like to read.” (Case 22)


“I am very happy  to  recommend  some  clients  with the books I like. I am happier when some loyal clients open a discussion about what they get from the book or what they are looking for. I like the conversation and its atmosphere. This is one of the main reasons that I am still working here.” (Case 20)


Organizational stability is also important but is considered secondary because it is seen as the basic element that every organization need to provide to a job applicant. their  employees.  Before  joining  the   company,   some key informants shared their work experience with other organizations in the same industry. They point out that this company is more stable, although its organizational structure and management approaches are structured, hierarchical, and less open to innovation and change. These conditions make them feel more secure and never have any problem with proposing and discussing their creative ideas to the superiors because the idea and information sharing is one of the major organizational values that enhance their feeling of confidence and job security.


“I don’t care about the stability of the organization because there is no stable one in the world. I am an employee which means I can be fired any minute. But the traditional management style offers job security.” (Case 5)


“The employee welfare scheme of this company is better than the other companies in the industry. I used to try searching for a new job but the decision was changed after my job interview. I feel safe and will never lose my job if I am proactive.” (Case 9)


“The obvious working conditions and culture are the key factors motivating me to apply for a job here. I love the stringent rules and policy. I feel safe.” (Case 17)


The need for a challenging work environment and achievement goals does not have much impact on intrapreneurial  behavior.  The  key  informants  view  the hallenges as problems and achievement goals as difficult things in their work-life because the organizational culture and structure are traditional and hard to  change.  They need the quality of the relationship with the superiors and colleagues rather than the challenge and achievement.


“I don’t like any challenges at work. It means problems that need time and resources to solve particularly the challenges from the customers because it comes with a lot of responsibility. I need to spend my time improving my team productivity rather than solving any problems.” (Case 19)


“My challenge is to find better methods of doing things, not to solve the customer’s complaints. The boss told me it is the challenge but I think it’s not.” (Case 10)


“I need the challenge and achievement when I propose some ideas or I’m assigned to manage some projects. It drives my energy and makes me happy at work. However, I think the quality of the relationship with the bosses and colleagues can also be termed as a challenge. It’s not easy to build and retain relationships with bosses. I have to spend so much time and effort to develop a relationship that lasts forever.” (Case 3)


4.2. Perceptions of Management Practices and Supports


Top-down management policy and approaches are perceived as the major barrier that blocks employee’s entrepreneurial activities and ideas.  The key informants indicate that  the top-down  management approach  is the barriers but  acceptable  among  the  employees  because it is the conditions and rules of the parent company that they have to adapt and change themselves to fit  with those. However, they perceive that the top executives in Thailand attempt to encourage employee’s creative ideas and activities by delegating branch managers to create their management approaches  that motivate  employees  to act entrepreneurially. The conditions of this practice are those approaches must align with the principles of the parent company. For executive-level employees, they are permitted and encouraged to create and propose any alternative management strategies to improve organizational operations and performance. Once the idea or project is approved and implemented, the ones doing this or the team are rewarded and promoted to a higher position so they are provided with more challenging tasks. These results are in line with Monsen et al. (2010) who indicates that if employees are rewarded for exhibiting entrepreneurial behavior, they are more likely to be involved in innovative, proactive, and risk- taking behavior.


“The management system here is so strict. The employees have to follow all the rules and conditions strictly. If you ask how difficult it is to deal with them, I can inform you that it is not a big problem because the employees cannot change them. What we all have to do is to deal and adapt ourselves to those systems and conditions.” (Case 6)


“The rule is the rule. It is unchangeable. I have to adopt and it is better than nothing. The outsider might view our traditional management approach as the obstruction of career growth, but I consider it as a shield that protects the employees. I have courage to take risks because I realize that there is a rule to follow.” (Case 2)


“The branch managers are permitted to design their management approaches. I prefer this policy because we have a chance to design our strategies motivating customers and innovating our services.” (Case 24)


“It’s difficult to prove myself before being promoted to an executive-level employee. In the early stages of my career (about 2 years), I felt I will not be able to become a manager because there are many rules and conditions that I didn’t like and thought that they did not fit with my behavior. After trial and error, I found a way to enhance productivity. Currently, I feel comfortable to lead and motivate my subordinates under the strict organizational culture.” (Case 15)


The compensation system  is  revealed  as  an important factor accelerating intrapreneurial behavior. The management provides a sufficient and satisfying compensation system for all employees who can create and improve organizational performance. The system is very obvious and linked to the performance evaluation system. This system not only promotes behavior it also fosters the service mindset of the employees. The majority of the key informants point out that they are extremely satisfied with the compensation system Rewards in form of compensation reflects in their enhanced work performance for the customers and the organization. The work seems to be more challenging and valuable when the compensation system is accountable and transparent. The result is in line with Carraher et al. (2003) who indicated that systematic rewards are a crucial determinant that influences employees to take risks and proactively do in some entrepreneurial actions. This result also supports Kuratko et al. (2014) who indicated  that  the  major  task  of  the  management is to create, develop, and reduce the uncertainty of any difficulties and challenges that are expected to block the development of new ideas and creativity. In this regard, the structured process and system are considered as an important factor that encourages employee intrapreneurial behavior.


“I never worry about the compensation system of this company. It is clear and transparent about what and how much you will get after you take up challenging work for the company. You can ask the bosses if you have any questions but you must study the system to its best so you are certain about what you are going to get before you knock the door.” (Case 22)


“I never hesitate to propose the ideas and create my projects if I have any chance. I know the executives at all levels are my supporters. They indeed speak less but they create systems to speak for them. The rules are clear and the compensation provided are challenging. These challenges make me drive at work and I can perceive a value for myself.” (Case 24)


“The reward system is fantastic. Once I have a new idea, I never hesitate to propose and discuss it with my boss and colleagues. If it can generate several customers, I will be rewarded. It’s fair enough and worth to do any new thing.” (Case 17)


4.3. Personal Motivation to Act Entrepreneurially


The key informants indicated that they can grow and develop their careers, even though the rules and regulations of the company are top-down and traditional. They do not consider those conditions as the main barriers. They are satisfied with the job, promotion, compensation, and welfare since they are not able to receive these conditions from other competitors in the industry. This result is in line with Carrier (1996) and Bager et al. (2010) who indicated that the level of satisfaction towards the job, promotion, and good compensation system which employees cannot obtain from other firms, is an important determinant to motivate employee’s intrapreneurial behavior.


“The working conditions and career growth are excellent. I can predict my future career growth. Although seniority is considered as a barrier I believe if I can produce some creative and lucrative projects I can be promoted to the higher level rapidly.” (Case 12)


“I have confidence in myself I can grow because I have many opportunities to propose the ideas that encourage operational efficiency.” (Case 7)


“I can freely decide what I would like to do to improve my job. When I heard this message from my first supervisor,


I was very happy and was prepared for all the work I can do to create the alternative strategies.” (Case 11)


Teamwork and relationship with colleagues are important factors that lead to intrapreneurial behavior. Working as a good team member is appreciated and is one of the important key success factors. The key informants identified that to work for oneself is not likable and will lead to career failure. Teamwork is defined as a group of brothers and sisters who help and support each other to accomplish the assigned work. A colleague is very important for all the key informants and is regarded as a brother or a sister. The relationship is more than that of between friends and team members are more like a family. They are not able to work and grow without the support and collaboration of the team.


“My success depends on the support of my colleagues. They are very important. I feel they are my family.” (Case 4)


“I feel that I am one of the important persons in the team. They don’t start any meetings without me. I always share my ideas and they value it.” (Case 8)


“The brother-sister relationship is very crucial. I feel safe when my boss told me that we are a family and I’m your elder brother. We have to build and retain our team solidarity. This informal relationship drives me to contribute all my resources and efforts to develop the work and the company.” (Case 17)


Work autonomy and relationship with the top executives and superiors are regarded as the drivers for accelerating intrapreneurial behavior and organizational loyalty. The majority of key informants reveal that they have a good relationship with the top executives and superiors. This quality level of relationship does not only enhance their sense of belonging but it also leads them to motivate other colleagues to be loyal and entrepreneurially behave for improving organizational performance. This result confirms Sebora et al. (2010) and Leverin and Liljander (2006) who point out that reducing the control of employee’s decision making and providing them the autonomy to try their approaches of performing their job effect on more intrapreneurial actions. While increasing the quality of the relationship between employees and high-ranked executives is a crucial basis of organizational loyalty.


“The management usually supports us  to  formulate our working approaches. I try several times to propose and present my ideas to the executives and superiors. Sometimes, it is rejected but I never give up. I try the alternative ways again and again until it is accepted and approved. I am proud of my success. I try and they acknowledge, suggest, and provide the opportunity of trial and error.” (Case 14)


“When I commenced my career here, it was uncomfortable to talk with the top executives because they were foreigners. I accepted the fact that I was afraid of them but once I worked for a while (some years later), that barrier disappeared especially because of the approach of the management. They provided me the chance to design and implement my way of doing work. It was unbelievable as I could comfortably work in the firm as it was structured and hierarchical.” (Case 2)


“Language is the major barrier of communication between me and the bosses. We both understand this constraint and try our best to communicate in English. Sometimes I do not understand correctly about what they need. This situation leads to problems but I am so lucky that they are flexible and adjusting. I am so inspired and always try to improve myself.” (Case 18)


5. Conclusion


Our findings disclose several understandings into the combination of individual-level and organizational-level factors that promote the intrapreneurial behavior and activities of the established firm in the context of Thailand. In this context, I can put forth six factors which are: 1) personal preference; 2) organizational stability; 3) management support; 4) compensation and reward system; 5) teamwork and the quality of relationship with colleagues; and 6) work  autonomy and the quality of relationship with superiors. These can be grouped  into  the  individual-related  and the organizational-related motivators. Individual-related antecedents are the fundamental drivers of the individual to behave and participate in any entrepreneurial activities in the established firm. While the organizational-related factors are the supporting drivers that facilitate and accelerate the intrapreneurial behavior of the individuals in pursuing and accomplishing any kind of entrepreneurial activity in the firm.




6. Theoretical Implications


In the past studies and models of corporate entrepreneurship, the organizational factors are mostly presented as the crucial determinants of employee’s entrepreneurial behavior in an established firm (Kuratko et al., 2014). Few empirical investigations deem the personal and the quality of relationship with the superiors and colleagues as other antecedents of intrapreneurial behavior (Carrier, 1996; Kattenbach & Fietze, 2018; Mohanty, 2006). Therefore, this paper contributes to the comprehension of the combination of individual-level and organizational- level antecedents that  foster  the  entrepreneurial  activity of the firm. Our study suggests that the individual-related motivators should be treated as the crucial factors for driving intrapreneurial behavior, while the organizational-related motivators should also need to be maintained because they are the accelerators of employee’s entrepreneurial behavior. These findings support and confirm a study by Badoiu, Segarra-Cipres, and Escrig-Tena (2020), which indicates the quality of the relationship between executives and employees as the key factor that promotes employee’s entrepreneurial behavior.




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