The seven dimensions of Skunk Works: a new approach and what makes it unique

Anthony Larsson (Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden and Stockholm School of Economics Institute of Research (SIR)/Center for Strategy and Competitiveness (CSC), Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden)

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1471-5201

Publication date: 8 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study the definition and formation of Skunk Works and how it may present itself as a viable theoretical alternative to other mainstream concepts of collective/corporate entrepreneurships, while dissecting some of the prevalent misconceptions of the extant literature regarding the application of Skunk Works.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a literature-based conceptual study that compares and differentiates various forms of group entrepreneurships as discussed in the academic debate.

Findings

This study shows how Skunk Works differs from other forms of collective/corporate entrepreneurship through its seven dimensions (isolation, customer needs, focus, planning, trusted project manager, cross-functional teams and leveraging overlaps) while challenging the dominant extant contenders of collective/corporate entrepreneurship.

Practical implications

Skunk Works remains a sustainable form of entrepreneurship, and it is still viable to consider it as a practical construct for smaller as well as larger organisations as a means of solving complicated innovative tasks requiring a multidisciplinary team with expert competence in a relatively quicker period of time.

Social implications

Organisations may take greater initiatives towards assembling entrepreneurial teams in the Skunk Work tradition.

Originality/value

As a means of understanding collective/corporate entrepreneurship, this study dissects some of the original fundamental cornerstones of Skunk Works entrepreneurship in an effort to present it as a viable alternative construct to the dominant construct of entrepreneurial orientation as well as other extant constructs.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Conflict of interest: None declared.

Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Citation

Larsson, A. (2019), "The seven dimensions of Skunk Works: a new approach and what makes it unique", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 37-54. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRME-09-2017-0038

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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