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Innovation and organisational change: mobilising social capital through corporate entrepreneurship

Jones, Oswald (2002) Innovation and organisational change: mobilising social capital through corporate entrepreneurship. UNSPECIFIED. Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

This paper represents an attempt to integrate the concept of corporate entrepreneurship with the emerging literature on social capital. Corporate entrepreneurship (Burgelman, 1983) focuses on the activities of individuals who take-on responsibility for organisational innovation and change. Ideas associated with social capital draw attention to the importance of workplace relationships which provide resources for individuals based on mutual obligations, trust and expectations (Coleman, 1988). Empirical data are drawn from a long-term study of MFD a mature manufacturing firm located in a small town in north Wales. Change was initiated by the owner/managing director who was concerned about declining activity as the company lost its core business with the Ministry of Defence. The corporate entrepreneur was a middle manager who joined the company less than one year before the change programme began. Because he was new to the company, the corporate entrepreneur did not have reciprocal obligations to other employees and was able to identify a range of 'brokerage opportunities' (Burt, 1992) which he used to breakdown barriers between departments and between senior managers and other employees.

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