Innovation in Organizations and the Role of a Chief Entrepreneur: A Qualitative Study Exploring Innovation in Large Established Organizations and the Perceptions of a Cheif Entreprenuer in Order to Affect Innovation

Maria Troøyen

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


This paper explores how innovation is executed in large established organizations and how the Chief Entrepreneur role is perceived to affect innovation. Innovation has gotten increased importance in the past years, and innovation theories argue that every organization must face the reality of continuous development. A prerequisite for creating innovation is the organizational structure and maintaining a balance between exploitation and exploration. However, large established organizations struggle from being risk-averse, only focusing on their core business. The Chief Entrepreneur theory is created to deal with the identified challenge of only focusing on exploiting current operations by creating a role focusing on exploring future development. This study aims to investigate a research gap in how the Chief Entrepreneur theory can affect innovation in large established organizations and better understand essential factors concerning innovation organizing and management. The research is done through an exploratory case study of four large established organizations operating within different industries. Hereto, six qualitative, semi-structured interviews with the person(s) responsible for innovation in the respective organizations are conducted. The analysis of the qualitative data led to findings indicating that 1) innovation has gotten increased importance relative to more structured innovation processes and sources of innovation, 2) balancing exploitation and exploration is conflicting with the organization mainly focusing on incremental innovation, 3) a correlation between an organization´s focus on innovation and its faced threat from industry competition and 4) the Chief Entrepreneur role affects innovation positively by focusing on current operations and future development, even though this role requires a significant organizational change. The lack of data about the implementation of the Chief Entrepreneur role makes it difficult to state whether this type of organizing is optimal. The paper implicates that further research is needed to validate findings and, moreover, investigate the optimal balance between exploitation and exploration and determine whether a Chief Entrepreneur role should be implemented.

UddannelserCand.merc.mib Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider137
VejledereAndrew Popp