Intrapreneurship in a South African agricultural organization
Grobler, Maria Magrietha
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The agricultural industry is enduring a variety of challenges and uncertainties, urging them to act more entrepreneurial. The objective of the study is to present recommendations for the improvement of intrapreneurship within an agricultural organization. A model, representing intrapreneurial organizations was developed during previous research and was used as basis for a literature study on the elements of intrapreneurship. The "hard" technical elements included task innovation, incentive policies, and structural flexibility, while the "soft" social elements included the intrapreneurial employee, leader and culture. The agricultural organization under discussion supplies input resources to grain producers, and procures grain products form producers and stores their product. It is then marketed and dispatched to processors. The organization faces several challenges, including high input costs, volatility in grain volumes, and structural changes in the grain market and supply chain. The empirical research was conducted on operational employees of the Input Supply and Market Access divisions. A generalized profile of a respondent of the study was compiled, and results on their Intrapreneurial Intensity were introduced. On the six intrapreneurial elements, it appeared as if Input Supply scored generally higher than Market Access. The differences were however, in most of the cases not substantial. While an overall lowest score was recorded for employees who have to ask permission from their superiors before performing a task in a different way, an overall highest score was recorded for employees who are able to bounce back very quickly when things go wrong. Significant differences were found between technical and social intrapreneurial elements, leading to the conclusion that the organization acts more bureaucratic regarding task innovation, incentive policies and structural flexibility, and more intrapreneurial regarding the employee, leadership and the organizational culture. Recommendations included that the existing organizational structure been replaced with one that better supports intrapreneurship, and that the company's talent management process fosters commitment, builds engagement and ensures accountability.