Original Research

Intrapreneurship as a means of achieving the efficacy of state-owned enterprises

Lucy T. Chamba, Bobo Chazireni
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 11, No 1 | a611 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v11i1.611 | © 2023 Lucy T. Chamba, Bobo Chazireni | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 October 2021 | Published: 18 May 2023

About the author(s)

Lucy T. Chamba, Department of Entrepreneurial Studies and Management, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
Bobo Chazireni, Department of Entrepreneurial Studies and Management, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa; and, Department of Business, University of Lusaka, Lusaka, Zambia


Background: It is an imperative in most developing countries to improve the performance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and increase the accessibility of government services. State-Owned Enterprises have failed to deliver public value rendering most public services inefficient and costly.

Aim: This study seeks to establish the influence of intrapreneurship on the efficacy of SOEs in developing countries, using the case of SOEs in Zimbabwe.

Setting: The study took place in Zimbabwe.

Methods: A mixed research approach was adopted and a cross-sectional survey was used to collect data from managers and employees of 39 parastatals in Zimbabwe. Data collection instruments were questionnaires and interviews. Data collected from questionnaires were analysed using STATA version 12, whilst data from interviews were analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: The study revealed that most SOEs have a poor Intrapreneurship Orientation, which negatively impacts on the performance of SOEs. Most SOEs generally have low innovation levels and have not developed services in line with customer demands. However, SOEs anchored in an intrapreneurial architecture were able to achieve greater public value through innovations which led to better service delivery and cost effectiveness.

Conclusion: This study advances the notion of intrapreneurship and revealed that intrapreneurship is a strategic workplace activity which can be adopted to improve SOEs’ organisational performance.

Contribution: This study provides empirical evidence of the use of intrapreneurship as a systematic mechanism that can improve organisational performance and assist SOEs in emerging economies to sustain their role as engines of economic growth.


intrapreneurship; intrapreneurial orientation (IO); organisational performance; public value; service delivery


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