Social entrepreneurial action in established organizations: Developing the concept of social intrapreneurship

Thijs H.J. Geradts, Elisa Alt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Social entrepreneurs are heralded for tackling entrenched social problems by approaching innovation, resource allocation, and the management of uncertainty in ways that escape the ability of established organizations. Although social entrepreneurship is manifested through the founding of new organizations or as entrepreneurial action inside established organizations, the latter has received far less scholarly attention to date. In this paper, we argue that the context of established organizations poses unique opportunities and challenges to individuals engaging in entrepreneurial action to address social problems, which remain hitherto unexplored. To advance our knowledge on social intrapreneurship, we integrate and synthesize the de novo social entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship literatures with a focus on how entrepreneurs in both contexts address the three core elements of entrepreneurial action: innovation, resource allocation, and uncertainty. In doing that, we offer a set of premises that conceptually develop entrepreneurial action by social intrapreneurs, and open avenues for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business Research
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Innovation
  • Intrapreneurship
  • Resource allocation
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Social intrapreneurship
  • Uncertainty


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