Technological changes and globalization result in persistent market competition putting immense pressure on small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria (McDowell, 2017). The relentless pressure of market competition in Nigeria is increasingly making it more difficult for SMEs to maintain competitive advantage (Osibanjo, Adeniji, Salau & Falola, 2016). Small and medium scale enterprises are faced with the options of either becoming one of the market leaders or experience stagnation; hence this explains the recession and high mortality rate of small and medium scale enterprises experienced in Nigeria at present. One of the strategies small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria can adopt as regards combating stagnation and the adverse effects of recession is to encourage the expression of entrepreneurial behavior by its employees (Ogbari, Oke, Ibukunoluwa, Ajagbe & Ologbo, 2016). This would result in employees mapping out new strategies, initiating new venture creation within their organizations and breaking new frontiers aimed at innovation performance. Intrapreneurship is a major driver of innovative performance particularly because it enhances employees to express behaviors aimed at identifying and exploiting new ideas, new strategies for business growth and new ways of running an existing business (Lambert, 2016). This paper argues that organizational innovations are not necessarily as a result of established research processes but are the result of entrepreneurial employee behavior that disturbs traditional business practice. Therefore, the objective of this study is to show that the innovative activities of Intrapreneurs within SMEs in Nigeria can be effective at achieving innovation performance. This study was based on a conceptual approach geared towards the development of concepts, clarification of meanings as well as establishment of the linkages proposed. Thus the study proposed a conceptual model to illustrate the relationship between intrapreneurship and innovation performance as a basis for fostering innovation performance of SMEs in Nigeria.
Intrapreneurship and SMEs in Nigeria
Intrapreneurship as a process engenders rejuvenation within an existing organization (McDowell, 2017). This is consequent upon the fact that intrapreneurship involves the process by which individuals in an organization identify and exploit new business opportunities within their organization or create new ventures under the auspices of their existing organization (Chrisman, 1999; Zgheib, 2017). Therefore, creating a platform for the expression of intrapreneurial behavior in small businesses in Nigeria could culminate into identification and exploitation of viable business opportunities that can stimulate productivity (Lambert, 2016). Intrapreneurs within an organization act instinctively aimed at identifying and exploiting new approaches for business growth and development (Daryani & Karimi, 2017). Therefore, small businesses in Nigeria can stimulate the emergence of intrapreneurs through innovation activism by fostering the expression of entrepreneurial behavior by independent intrapreneurs within the...