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The Interplay of Form, Structure, and Embeddedness in Social Intrapreneurship


Geoffrey M. Kistruck, tel.: (614) 688-4107; e-mail:, and to Paul W. Beamish at


While the influence of form and structure on social entrepreneurship has received some attention within academe, the perception of form as discrete rather than embedded in organizational history, and structure as an individual, dichotomous choice between simple for-profit and nonprofit alternatives, has painted an incomplete picture. Through a rigorous analysis of 10 case studies located within Africa and Latin America involving social intrapreneurship, our findings suggest that cognitive, network, and cultural embeddedness each play an important constraining role that is even more pronounced in organizations that were historically nonprofit in form. However, our results also suggest a variety of decoupled structural approaches that may help mitigate such constraints.