Journal of Business Economics

, Volume 83, Issue 4, pp 319–355

How companies motivate entrepreneurial employees: the case of organizational spin-alongs

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11573-013-0657-5

Cite this article as:
Klarner, P., Treffers, T. & Picot, A. J Bus Econ (2013) 83: 319. doi:10.1007/s11573-013-0657-5


This paper investigates how high-profile employees with entrepreneurial abilities can be attracted, retained, and nurtured in order to foster companies’ corporate entrepreneurship through innovations. We find that the spin-along design provides entrepreneurial employees with a combination of flexibility and security (flexicurity), corporate management, and control. Based on five in-depth case studies within an innovative company, our results show that the organizational spin-along structure supports and enhances entrepreneurial employees’ motivation and leads to the attraction, nurturing, and retention of such employees. We also find that senior management has a critical leadership role in enabling such an organization design by balancing flexibility and security with control.


Entrepreneurial employees Motivation Organization design Qualitative research Spin-along 

JEL Classification

D01 J01 J24 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Klarner
    • 1
  • Theresa Treffers
    • 2
  • Arnold Picot
    • 2
  1. 1.Munich School of Management, Institute of Strategic ManagementUniversity of Munich (LMU)MunichGermany
  2. 2.Munich School of Management, Institute for Information, Organisation and ManagementUniversity of Munich (LMU)MunichGermany

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