Intrapreneurship at Alcatel-Lucent
(8 pages of text)
Since 2006, Alcatel-Lucent, an international telecommunications equipment manufacturer based in Paris, France, has been conducting boot camps for its employees to provide business training and help them monetize their innovative ideas with a view to creating value for the company. The program has led to 32 projects of which two have been commercialized, three transferred to business units within Alcatel-Lucent and one spun off. In 2012, however, the boot camps were discontinued due to a cost reduction program aimed at making the company cash-flow positive. Now, in June 2014, after a change in top management and a desire to regain the innovative edge against its competition has revived the idea, the company’s director of Open Innovation & Intrapreneurship is facing three dilemmas: how to reconcile the big business intolerance for failure with failure-prone intrapreneurship, how to design a forward-looking component into intrapreneurship and how to change the design and architecture of the boot camp in its new edition.
This case can be taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in an innovation or corporate entrepreneurship elective or as part of an entrepreneurship course with a focus on intrapreneurship, innovation and corporate venturing. Its teaching objectives are the following:
- To illustrate how innovative intrapreneurship can be encouraged in the setting of a large corporation through the medium of intrapreneurial boot camps.
- To understand the internal and external pressures on corporate decision-making, the opportunities and limitations of intrapreneurial boot camps and the ways that they can be structured to achieve maximum impact for the organization.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
France, Large, 2014
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