Middle managers’ intrapreneurial actions can be a powerful source of organizational adaptation and strategic renewal. Better understanding what drives such intrapreneurial actions is important, yet requires data, which allows testing directional claims. For example, whereas autonomy and supportive leadership might be antecedents to such intrapreneurial behavior, it equally seems possible that firms delegate more autonomy to individuals behaving entrepreneurially (rather than being “lazy”) or that senior managers are more inclined to show support for individuals engaging in entrepreneurial action. Lagged or longitudinal survey evidence to test whether autonomy and leadership support are antecedents of intrapreneurship or consequences, is – like for many other questions in research on strategic responsiveness – hard and expensive to collect. Vignette experiments (also called factorial surveys or conjoint studies) may be a way out – especially when combined with cross-sectional evidence. The present chapter illustrates this approach by studying the relations among autonomy, supportive leadership, and intrapreneurship by means of a vignette experiment and a cross-sectional field survey. The findings suggest that autonomy and supportive leadership are indeed antecedents to intrapreneurial behavior and illustrate the value of vignette experiments for research on strategic responsiveness.
The author would like to thank Simon S. Torp of Århus University with whom he worked in collecting the field survey data. Torben J. Andersen, Nicolai J. Foss, Jennifer Kunz, Haiyang Li, Torben Pedersen, Thomas Ritter, Simon S. Torp, the participants of the SMS Annual Conference, and seminar participants at Conservatoire National des Arts et des Métiers (CNAM-Intec) and ESSEC provided valuable comments to an earlier version of the present chapter. The usual caveat applies. Financial support from Århus University, Copenhagen Business School, as well as from Oticon Fonden is gratefully acknowledged. Part of the work on this chapter was carried out during the author’s former association with Copenhagen Business School’s Department for Strategic Management and Globalization.
Linder, S. (2019), "Autonomy and Leadership Support as Antecedents to Intrapreneurship: Value of Vignette Experiments for Research on Strategic Responsiveness", Andersen, T., Torp, S. and Linder, S. (Ed.) Strategic Responsiveness and Adaptive Organizations: New Research Frontiers in International Strategic Management (Emerald Studies in Global Strategic Responsiveness), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 41-59. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78973-011-120191004Download as .RIS
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