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Corporate Entrepreneurship in the Public Sector – A Case Study of the South African Revenue Service as a Government Agency

Jurie van Vuuren


This article explores, using a qualitative case study design, the role of entrepreneurship in the public sector in South Africa. A “private sector” framework through which to view a public sector organisation’s activities is used to examine if entrepreneurial activity is present. As entrepreneurial strategy development and entrepreneurial orientation are evidence of “entrepreneurship”, including corporate entrepreneurship, these constructs are explored in this research. The findings suggest that significant entrepreneurial activity is present in the public sector organisation studied. Further, the research reveals and reinforces the view of entrepreneurship as universal, and takes the position of corporate entrepreneurship in established organisations beyond the sole remit of private enterprises.

Although the particular organisation that has been studied is unique in its makeup, the public organisation itself contributes, through innovative and proactive practices, to this uniqueness. The implications of this research are important to other government departments and entities in South Africa. One of these implications is that possibilities for entrepreneurship reside within these organisations.


Public entrepreneurship; public sector organisations; entrepreneurial strategy development; entrepreneurial intensity

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