- Previous events
- Vitae researcher development conference 2008
- Workshop programme NEW UPDATE December 08
- D7 Workshop summary and outcomes
D7 Workshop summary and outcomes
Exploring intrapreneurship in researcher development
Samantha Aspinall, Enterprise Learning Manager, University of Leeds and Alison Mitchell, CTA-DTA Manager, University of Strathclyde
In autumn 2007, a group of nine universities and CRAC: The Career Development Organisation came together for a project to look at ‘intrapreneurship', a form of enterprise in the workplace for organisational as well as personal benefit. This workshop launched the report of the first phase of the project Enterprise at work: exploring intrapreneurship in researcher development.
The report offers a new integrating viewpoint on the Joint Skills Statement, focussing on skills development to support company and academic innovation. It contains a number of strategic and practical recommendations for universities to consider as a way of taking this further to enhance the early researcher experience.
The report and recommendations were discussed along with case studies about academic and researcher intrapreneurship, and the mapping of researchers' capabilities to ‘real life' requirements for company and academic innovation. During the workshop, participants were able to reflect on their current provision and consider intrapreneurial activities that can be developed within their institution.
Intrapreneurship is an important development, particularly in the light of recent government policy development focussed on the skills of the nation. Following reviews and reports by Roberts, Lambert, Leitch and Sainsbury, and the White Paper Innovation Nation, there is a firm focus on developing high-level skills and creativity.
An analysis of the policy and business context was followed by an outline of intrapreneurial skills and sector case studies relevant to both academic and business communities, as contained in the report. A number of strategic and practical recommendations were presented for participants to consider as a way of taking this further to enhance the early researcher experience. Key conclusions were that an intrapreneurial viewpoint of researcher activity:
- adds value for all stakeholders
- is relevant in both academia and business
- supports the employability agenda
- is an expression of government innovation policy
- benefits from strategic institutional support
- enriches the university community
- is best acquired through practical experience
- extends and integrates the Roberts skills framework (Joint Skills Statement).
Participants considered the opportunities that intrapreneurship presented to developing researchers' careers and the ways in which this might be supported within institutional culture and structure.
The workshop echoed well key themes of the conference plenaries, such as researchers instigating initiative, being valued and rewarded for their efforts, the development of multi-skilled ‘T-shaped researchers' with both breadth and depth of experience, and relevance of skills development for both business and academia.
Group activities were provided with an aim to enable participants to leave the workshop with something tangible to work on in their own institutions. A selection of examples from the Database of Practice was provided and groups invited to discuss how these might be enhanced or developed to provided intrapreneurial experiences.
The groups were quickly able to identify new approaches and extensions to activities showing how it is possible to apply an intrapreneurial approach to skills provision. This will be taken forward in Phase Two and organisations were/are invited to join this stage of the project.
View the D7 presentation slides
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