ESADE Business and Law School
MSc in International Management
Business in Society
Competitiveness, innovation and
“Intrepreneur” first came into being in 1976 describes an employee who behaves
like an entrepreneur inside his or her organization.1Future new things will come much faster than
before as Moore’s law stated that the computational ability will double every
18 months. Such company as Google re-created itself into Alphabet because it
wants to try more related thing within its core structure. Therefore, my point
of view would be that those big enterprises should take the responsibility and
put more emphasis on cultivating intrepreneurs on social business in order to
have more competitive advantages.
Why should big enterprises
develop social business?
Big enterprises usually catch the spotlights
and become the media’s chasing point. Within itself, they have accumulated
incomparable resources when growing up. Under this circumstance, they need to
take the lead and make the social wave move forward. Let’s still use tech
company as an example. Actually, they did quite well in leading and already
invested a huge amount of money in all the cutting-edge researchers. Advanced
technology applications are created every day and new concepts are introduced everywhere.
They have made themselves prepared for the future in case of other competitors
mastering the first mover advantage.
However, not all people are prepared
for the future. According to The State Of Broadband 2017 made by UN, until the
end of 2017, the whole globe still have 52% of its total population cannot
access to the Internet.2
It is acknowledged that technology does improve our future but actually we are
making the world less equal because only a limit number of people could benefit
from this. Those less developed areas will need social businesses in order to
keep infrastructures, economic status, and people’s knowledge ready for the
trend. Different from traditional business models which are totally profit driven,
a social business may not be that profitable, but it will benefit people in a
materialistic way. How a company is viewed as competitive doesn’t only build
upon how much profits they made. Value comes first and profits come as a reward
for satisfying the needs. By doing so, the gap between them and those who are
able to access to new things would be smaller. What’s more, referring to bucket
theory, how much a bucket could contain water depends on the shortest wood
stick, so if companies could also make these people prepared for the future and
gradually let them become their potential users, their potential market will be
enlarged. Overall, it will eliminate the inequality and it’s a win-win act.
Apart from being more competitive, big
enterprises are obligated to take the social responsibility to repay back the
society. They now own the fame and status attribute to the advocates of the
society, as greater power comes greater responsibility. People would be glad to
see those companies which they recognized are keeping growing towards a good
direction and this is quite sustainable to the brand of the company. Instead of
focusing on short-term profits, companies who do this can optimize long-term
profits and make a non-market impact.3
What should they do?
Companies should let entrepreneurs happening
inside the enterprises, which is named as “intrepreneurship”. Usually, the
funder of a startup became an entrepreneur because he quitted the job in a
company and went to develop other valuable business models. Inability to raise
capital and running out of cash is one of the main reasons for startups’
failures. Likewise, creating a social business is definitely not an easy thing,
especially if want it to generate profit by itself at certain less commercial
area. If this happening inside the company, intrepreneurs could use the
resource related to the company and easy to walk the first step by asking the
company help for capital. Such talents could also remain within the companies.
Or the other way around, let the company
starts to do social business and things would be less complicated at least in
the beginning. For example, on December 1, 2017, Alibaba Group executive
chairman Jack Ma has established a US$1.5 billion ‘Alibaba Poverty Relief Fund’
by leveraging the company’s technology in an attempt to end hunger in China.4
Therefore, companies like Amazon/Alibaba want to do social business, they
already have top talented persons and platform to carry out the projects.
Another thing is, if the social business
funder is actually outside of the company, I think those big companies have the
responsibility to invest those who have the similar business concentration of
their main business and let them access it to their platform, or even acquire
them. For example, shared bicycle in China such as MoBike and OFO only cost 10
cents every hour and at the present stage, it could be very hard to create some
profitable plan for them. On the other hand, thanks to their services, 540,000
tons of carbon emission could be decreased every year, equal to 170,000 cars’
Besides, before they came out, bicycles were no longer viewed as trendy transport
means, but now those bike producers cannot satisfy the needs even working on
non-stop schedules, which also brings about the innovation on the locks of the
bikes and revival of bicycle factories. As they generate greater value for the
society albeit not profitable itself, top tech companies Alipay and WeChat
invested in them in order to keep them survive and give them time to continue
testing on financially sustainable approaches.
Actually, it’s not company/organization
itself take the action. Only the individual, all the employees, and managers
can. How could employees become more innovative or even eventually became
intreprenuers in identifying new potential opportunities? As we learn in the
class, engagements as ‘Dialogue’ are always the most effective way to come
across new ideas. It happens a lot that in the beginning someone only has half
of the ideas, and he needs time to incubate it. Engaging more in communication,
connectivity, diversity and connect people, just like chemical reactions, immature
ideas could mingle and swap and finally there comes the proper one. Eventually,
innovations are available.
launches China anti-poverty campaign. (2017). Freightweek.org. Retrieved 14
December 2017, from http://www.freightweek.org/~freightweek/index.php/latest-news/89-humanitarian/2969-alibaba-launches-china-anti-poverty-campaign
of the globe cannot access the Internet; China has the most population. (2017). Chinanews.com. Retrieved
14 December 2017, from http://www.chinanews.com/gj/2017/09-19/8335008.shtml
A. (2012). Management: A Focus on Leaders. Boston: Pearson.
N. (1995). Business, government, and society. Englewood Cliffs,
N.J.: Prentice Hall.
meaning of MoBike.
(2017). Tanpaifang.com. Retrieved 14 December 2017, from
good ideas come from by Steven Johnson. (2017). YouTube. Retrieved 17
December 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZGDbPFU
1 McKee, A. (2012). Management:
A Focus on Leaders. Boston: Pearson. p271
3 Peery, N. (1995). Business,
government, and society. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall. p259