The current issue of Technovation has a good article on the role of engineers as drivers of corporate innovation called: On the way to creativity: Engineers as intrapreneurs in organizations by Hanns C. Menzela, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, NL-5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands and Iiris Aaltiob, Jan M. Ulijna Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, FIN-53851 Lappeenranta, Finland
Organizations often hide creativity and talent. This paper describes how to make engineers active in the field of intrapreneurship within large firms where they often are employed in R&D. This development is seen, in Europe at least, most desirable by the companies today. Technology has an extensive impact on the society and economy nowadays, and it is important to study how technological innovations appear and who is behind them. Entrepreneurship and organizational intrapreneurship are, in many cases, the basis of technological innovations and firm renewal. Engineers are the company's special professional workforce that has the role to produce and develop innovations. Since the world of high-tech companies needs the cooperation of many experts, engineers must be able to cooperate well with other fields of expertise such as marketing, research and development as well as external suppliers and service providers. Also, innovations today often ask not only for unique technical knowledge but also social knowledge to make these innovations meaningful. In this sense, social innovation parallels technical innovation. Thus, in this paper we explore the origins of the intrapreneurship capacity in engineering settings of hightech firms, thereby concentrating on three issues: Who is the intrapreneur and the engineer-intrapreneur in particular? What kind of managerial and organizational support is required to facilitate the intrapreneur's upcoming? What are the educational and work related consequences for practical intrapreneurship tool development?
Source: Technovation 27 (2007) 732-743