- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (March 17, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1422185095
- ISBN-13: 978-1422185094
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #728,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Changing Your Company from the Inside Out: A Guide for Social Intrapreneurs Hardcover – March 17, 2015
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ADVANCE PRAISE for Changing Your Company from the Inside Out:
JUDITH F. SAMUELSON, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BUSINESS AND SOCIETY PROGRAM, ASPEN INSTITUTE
Davis and White artfully unpack a set of tools and strategies for change agents who want to help their corporations adapt to new social norms and environmental expectations. Let’s hope this book finds its way into the hands of those who are poised to unleash the extraordinary capacity embedded in modern corporations. Both our nation and our world will be better off if they succeed.”
JOE MALCOUN, CEO, NUTSHELL
Davis and White provide a functional and actionable platform for social-minded employees interested in effecting social change without falling into the same vague estuary of doing well by doing good.’ Thankfully, this book moves beyond a call to action and offers readers the information they’ll need to succeed in the field, where it matters most.”
JEFFREY PFEFFER, THOMAS D. DEE II PROFESSOR OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR, STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS; AUTHOR, LEADERSHIP B.S.: FIXING WORKPLACES AND CAREERS ONE TRUTH AT A TIME
Davis and White provide practical, research-based, smart suggestions for leveraging the resources of your existing workplace to do social good in ways that fit your values and do not jeopardize your career. What could be better?”
MICHAEL USEEM, WILLIAM AND JACALYN EGAN PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT AND DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR LEADERSHIP AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT, THE WHARTON SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
Changing Your Company from the Inside Out provides a compelling road map for social intrapreneurs who want to persuade their companies to embrace agendas far beyond the bottom line. An essential companion for all who want to mobilize their organizations to help create a better world.”
JOHANNA MAIR, ACADEMIC EDITOR, STANFORD SOCIAL INNOVATION REVIEW
Davis and White masterfully integrate examples of successful social intrapreneurship and arguments from social-movement research to develop a guide on how to enact social change without formal authority. A truly empowering book for anyone who cares about business and social change.”
FRED KELLER, FOUNDER AND FORMER CEO, CASCADE ENGINEERING
Changing Your Company from the Inside Out is a virtual fountain of ideas for how to increase the positive impact of companies as an employee and not a leader. It is extremely relevant to employees seeking to improve the positive impact of their institutions.”
About the Author
Christopher J. White is Managing Director of the Center for Positive Organizations and adjunct faculty in Management & Organizations at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Chris has been leading and consulting to purpose-driven organizations spanning the corporate, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors for more than fifteen years.
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According to Davis and White, every person could be an intrapreneur. Those on the front lines have the greatest capacity to initiate changes. Innovation and change are never simple things. It requires create opportunity structures, make persuasive cases, focus on social networks and have mobilizing platforms. There are four key factors to generate an innovation or a change. Internally changing may take more time and more energy to realize, but it can have a much larger impact than people usually believe.
The book suggests that social intrapreneurs need to prepare to answer four questions. When will be the right time to make a change? Why do intrapreneurs need changes? Who will support changes? How to mobilize supporters? Social intrapreneurs should have appropriate answer for each question prior to changing. However, those elements stay at a fundamental level. As for professional business people, they may have a more accurate and stable conception of the construction of a social movement framework.
Generally speaking, people think social responsibility should be highly valued by organizations. Organizations that give priority to their own interests are generally criticized by the public when there are conflicts between the bottom lines and vice versa. However, it is hard to make a choice between interests and responsibilities for stakeholders. Nike is one example provided by Davis and White. Nike realized that they should pay attention to corporate social responsibilities due to the consumer boycott, which occurred when consumers became aware of deplorable working conditions in its supply chain. Ford became a good model of code of ethical conduct after they experienced the scandal of Pinto. In reality, many organizations begin to regret their actions after being boycotted by society.
What would intrapreneurs do if their company would not permit them to make changes? If organizations put their own interests above social responsibilities, and intrapreneurs are the beneficiaries, would the intrapreneurs be willing to make a change? These issues are real challenges during the course of changing from company inside. It should be combined with actual situations to make a decision about whether to change or not. However, Davis and White do not provide much information on solving these issues.
Another drawback is that some important points mentioned in the book are just common sense. For beginners who have ideas but are not familiar with social innovations, this book is a good introductory textbook. But for experienced business people, this book is less effective.
The book is useful because Davis and White use examples to support their point of view and extract the essence from a large number of cases to present to readers. We think that Davis’ and White’s intention is to lead a way for readers to analyze firms’ behaviors with actual situations and to provide a basic guideline for beginners, rather than to encourage readers to simply emulate the companies’ behaviors.
First, “When” means to understand opportunity structure. No movement suddenly happens and the opportunity for change resides in the movement. Then, change seeks for opportunity structure that consists of two things: terrain and timing. Terrain represents strategy, structure, and culture of organizations. Timing is likely to come from events inside or outside the company. Occasionally, the events outside the company such as the political system and existence of rivals might back up innovations and at other times the announcement of the new project can be a trigger to innovation. Intrapreneurs should keep themselves open to these two elements.
Secondly, “Why” means to make the frame that logically connects the overall framework, language, and stories with organization’s mission, strategy, and values. In order to do so, innovators should understand it is essential to assess the culture of an organization and its context to diagnose what changes are plausible and which “vehicle” to use.
The next step is to construct a strong network in the company in order to make progress. Everyone should get involved, especially mavens, to construct well-structured network so innovators can work with moderate connection among supporters. After making up the frame that fits organization’s mission and value and getting well functional members involved, intrapreneurs are sustainable for innovation.
Finally, innovators should create mobilizing structures that are the organized devices helping people get involved in movements. As the Arab Spring might not have occurred if there had been no Internet, information technology allows people to spread opinions in the same way as fashion. Unfortunately, corporations often restrict employees from freely exchanging their opinions on the Internet due to the high probability of information being leaked, but even then intrapreneurs must take advantage of technology.
Davis and White did a very good job introducing the concept of social intrapreneurship and breaking down its elements to reach social change. The authors explained how social change can be achieved within an organization through a plethora of examples, which are the primary driver in reinforcing the concepts the book introduces. Some of the examples provided are very helpful and informative, however, this strength can also feel like a weakness in the book. Sometimes it feels like the book is lacking concrete elaboration on its concepts, particularly in the technical aspects on how one can apply them. It might have been more helpful if there were more details how these social change examples were achieved, instead of what was achieved.
Overall, the book is a good introduction on social intrapreneurship. Although the literature provides awareness to the reader about various environments, situations, and barriers that are critical to social change in an organization, it may be less helpful to an experienced executive, as some of the concepts are basic and lack depth. However, for young professionals and entrepreneurs that have the energy to influence and change companies’ and people’s behaviors aiming to make positive changes in the world, this book is a must-read.