This project investigates the phenomenon of entrepreneurialism in the workplace (EiW); the different forms that this may take in different organisational settings; and the individual skills and organisational factors which are needed to promote it.
Entrepreneurialism is increasingly viewed as essential within existing organisations as well as for founding new ventures. It is possible to identify and develop the kinds of skills that are necessary for behaving entrepreneurially. However, simply focusing on individuals’ skills and abilities is insufficient, and attention is needed as to the kinds of organisational factors (such as structure, leadership and culture) which may enable EiW to flourish. This is particularly germane given evidence (e.g. in the Skills and Employment Survey) that the kinds of organisational and work arrangements which might stimulate EiW are not the norm in the UK and may even be in decline. There is, however, a timely but relatively recent policy focus in Scotland to stimulate innovative forms of work. This makes Scotland an ideal location for investigating EiW and how organisations may promote it.
A qualitative multi-case study approach is proposed, purposively sampling different kinds of organisations in Scotland pursuing EiW. We propose the student will sample established organisations across different sectors, as well as one or more new entrepreneurial ‘start up’ companies. Access to appropriate organisations will be enabled through the supervisors’ existing networks and through contacts built by the successful applicant. The final decision on research approach and design will rest with the applicant but must include a qualitative element.
Knowledge exchange and impact activities will be foregrounded throughout, for example through collaboration with Skills Development Scotland and the case study organisations. This will include, for example, the production and dissemination of ‘good practice’ reports, and a short video.