Putting entrepreneurship in corporate change agency: A typology of social intrapreneurs

Anne-Cathrin Darcis, Rüdiger Hahn *, Elisa Alt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Social intrapreneurs can help corporations to address grand challenges and create
hybrid value—that is simultaneous commercial and social value—by identifying and exploring entrepreneurial opportunities that address social or environmental issues. However, we still know little about how individuals assume social intrapreneurial roles in corporations. Based on a qualitative study of social intrapreneurs and their supporters, we identify variations in social intrapreneurial profiles along two dimensions: the role of the social intrapreneur in the entrepreneurial process (idea initiator versus idea explorer), and their position (within core business departments versus within sustainability departments). We contribute to the literature by identifying four different types of social intrapreneurs as corporate change agents—the Visionary Business Insurgent, the Visionary Sustainability Transformer, the Enabled Business Expert, and the Enabled Sustainability Expert—and by shedding light on four pathways to social intrapreneurship that vary in initial levels of agency and ethical expression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalBusiness Ethics, the Environment & Responsibility
Early online date25 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Sept 2023


  • change agents
  • corporate social responsibility
  • hybrid businesses
  • social innovation
  • Social intrapreneurship
  • social value
  • typology


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