How Could Large, Established Companies Foster Entrepreneurship Within the Existing Organization? A Qualitative Study Accounting for Organizational- and Cultural Differences Between Swedish and Japanese Firms

Mika Lönnbro Fukino

Student thesis: Master thesis


In a scenario of intense competition among existing players, large and established companies around the world are attempting to foster entrepreneurship, finding new means to innovate and create new business opportunities, to sustain growth and profitability. Entrepreneurship has long been associated with venture creation in small businesses, but since the 1980s directed increased attention to explore entrepreneurial activities within organizations, summarized under the term Corporate Entrepreneurship. Preliminary investigation in the entrepreneurship literature reveals that there exists an abundance of research that links CE with performance. As far as concerned, less attention has been drawn to the relationship between CE and various aspects of culture, attitudes and behaviors to account for the difference in levels of entrepreneurial activities between countries.
The objective of this thesis has been to investigate how large, established companies could foster innovation and entrepreneurial activities within the existing organization. This has been done by analyzing a number of case companies from Swedish and Japanese firms, utilizing theories within entrepreneurship, organizational structure and cross cultural management. Drawing from the insights, the Swedish companies could serve as a model for Japanese companies. Change and entrepreneurship are realized in the large and established organization by having innovation and entrepreneurial values at its heart to sustain growth and competitiveness. By having an organic organizational structure companies would be in the best condition to maximize the exploitation of new opportunities. Further, firms need an entrepreneurial orientation, which implies a culture that supports entrepreneurship and a certain degree of risk tolerance, in bringing a venture forward. Teams are egalitarian and diverse with informal relationships to achieve the best results. Finally, an effective leader is adapting its leadership to a specific task or group he or she attempts to influence or lead, and finds the most suitable practice for the particular business or business group. Evidence suggests that, all things considered, an organization that can make this a reality will reap the benefits.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages91
SupervisorsBjörn Preuss