Tackling energy poverty through social intrapreneurship in large-scale energy companies

Maria-Jose Manjon, Amparo Merino, Iain Cairns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present advances towards a social intrapreneurship department within energy corporations. By drawing on the literature on social intrapreneurship and stakeholder theory, this paper provides a conceptual proposal for an organisational structure. This paper builds on the notion of bridging and boundary organisations, to suggest an organisational innovative structure as a social intrapreneurship endeavour focussing on the increasing salience of weak stakeholders in energy corporations from the energy justice approach. Design/methodology/approach: This paper draws on the literatures on social intrapreneurship and stakeholder theory, to provide arguments and an organisational proposal to alleviate energy poverty in energy corporations. Findings: The results are presented in a conceptual process model for the development of Social Energy Department units within large energy companies, illustrating their embeddedness in both societal and company-level processes to facilitate social intrapreneurship initiatives that would alleviate energy poverty in the just transition. Practical implications: The paper promises novel insights at the nexus of social enterprise and organisational change. The practical applicability is particularly promising, as it focusses on integrating novel units in energy companies and stimulates further research on models of social intrapreneurship to tackle energy poverty. Originality/value: The paper offers both practical and theoretical contributions to the stakeholder theory field with insights from social intrapreneurship and organisational stakeholder theory in the context of a specific social problem – energy poverty, energy justice and the just energy transition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-624
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Enterprise Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • boundary spanning
  • bridging departments
  • energy poverty
  • just energy transition
  • organisational change
  • social entrepreneurship
  • social intrapreneurship
  • stakeholder theory


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