Conflict over entrepreneurial, intrapreneurial sensemaking of business model change initiatives.
Purpose of the Paper & Literature Addressed : This paper explores the often very difficult task of changing business mindsets of the dominant business entrepreneur. Often, these changes are being driven by the dramatic increase in ambiguity and uncertainty in the enterprises’ current marketplace, forcing them to seek help from business advisors, or taking up opportunities to work with Higher Education Institutions on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs). The key focus of this paper is around evaluating the approaches to guiding business entrepreneur’s to change their business model, and evolving their enterprise towards being entrepreneurially and enterprise-driven. Existing literature on entrepreneurial mindsets often talk about the challenges to their values, attitudes and behavior (Brown and Proudlove 2008), and how this can both act as an enabler and barrier to change (Herbert 2000). The challenges to change mindsets is often down to two factors; convincing the business entrepreneur that the marketplace dynamics have changed (Laczniak and Lusch 1997), and that adopting a new business model is important for survival and growth of their enterprise (Pina e Cunha, da Cunha et al. 2001). Research Method : A case study approach is used to investigate the issues identified above. Six case studies were chosen to exemplify the key enablers and barriers to delivering value from Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. The study draws on data collected over ten years of working with Small- to Mediumsized Enterprises (SMEs) on knowledge/technology transfer projects, often over several years. Research Findings : The level of success achieved from these knowledge/technology transfer projects can be directly linked to the correct identification of the business entrepreneurial mindsets and the enterprises’ current business model and strategic orientation. The findings reveal the challenges when entrepreneur and intrapreneur mindsets towards business model changes diverge, and are unreconcilable.