Modern Opportunities for Chinese Social Intrapreneurship

Chen, Kati
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China’s rapid and large-scale development over the past few decades has completely transformed the nation. The reforms of “socialism with Chinese characteristics” have led to great economic success and global attention. These economic changes have brought about a series of fascinating and complex challenges in Chinese society. They include growing mental health concerns, a rapidly aging population, and environmental pollution. China is unique in population size, cultural history, and governance style. Therefore, the world is carefully watching how China responds to these unique challenges.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has already taken decisive steps towards addressing these issues. However, these challenges present an opportunity for the Chinese government to increase the available resources addressing social needs. The CPP should encourage Party members to create new initiatives that will engage Chinese citizens in Party-supported activities. These partnerships have the potential to create a larger impact and promote a harmonious society.

This concept is known as social intrapreneurship. It’s the idea that Party members and large corporations should promote initiatives that create social and/or environmental good while aligning with the Chinese government’s vision. Social intrapreneurship is an ideal way to incorporate Chinese characteristics, such as social stability and patriotism, into projects that address China’s largest challenges.

The Chinese government has created policies and plans for issues such as mental health, an aging population, and pollution. However, COVID-19’s mental health and economic fallouts will spur a pressing need for increased relief and support. These issues could be alleviated if the government engaged more citizens to work with the Party. Within the Party, social intrapreneurship can be used to create community volunteer programs and nationwide campaigns, such as President Xi’s “three tough battles” poverty alleviation campaign. Within large corporations, Party members could create donation drives, spearhead social projects, and develop corporate programs centered towards giving back. Both of these applications of social intrapreneurship will increase the resources addressing these social issues under the Party’s leadership.

This thesis will look at how social intrapreneurship can add engage a new cohort of Chinese citizens to join with the CCP to address some of China’s most fascinating challenges. The first three sections will discuss the uniqueness, relevancy, and potential impact of the challenges that China faces. The last four chapters will discuss how social intrapreneurship and corporate social responsibility can help China address these challenges. Ultimately, this thesis will demonstrate how creating infrastructure for social intrapreneurship is an innovative opportunity for modern Chinese society.