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date: 02 December 2022

Corporate Entrepreneurship: A Research Perspectivelocked

Corporate Entrepreneurship: A Research Perspectivelocked

  • Donald F. KuratkoDonald F. KuratkoKelley School of Business, Indiana University Bloomington
  •  and Jeffrey G. CovinJeffrey G. CovinKelley School of Business, Indiana University Bloomington


The theoretical and empirical knowledge on corporate entrepreneurship (ce) has evolved in the research domain over the last 50 years, beginning very slowly and growing in importance in that time. Because of this evolution and expansion in CE research, the theoretical and empirical knowledge about CE and the entrepreneurial behavior on which it is based has progressed to a point where a greater understanding of the concept can be presented.

Many of the elements essential to constructing a theoretically grounded understanding of the domains of CE have been identified. An examination of the field reveals that there are three research domains that have developed over the years: corporate venturing (either internal or external), strategic entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial orientation.

In examining the evolution of CE research across five decades, the focus of CE research has varied over the years. The very early research published in the 1970s focused more on how teams could establish entrepreneurial activities inside established organizations; however, this early research was sparse because CE was not widely acknowledged nor sought in existing organizations. The 1980s saw some research into entrepreneurial behavior inside established organizations that explained how such activity could simply not exist in the structure and operations of existing corporations. Opposed to that thinking, many more researchers demonstrated that the idea of corporate entrepreneurial activity could be conceived as a process of organizational renewal. In the 1990s, researchers began to develop more comprehensive examinations of CE that focused on re-energizing companies and therefore increasing its abilities to develop innovations. The first and second decades of the 21st century witnessed a more sophisticated refinement of research topics in CE.

In addition to research specific to the development of the three main domains of CE (corporate venturing, entrepreneurial orientation, and strategic entrepreneurship), there has been research on more specific areas of interest in CE including the implementation of CE, management levels, the individual corporate entrepreneur, models and metrics of CE, a deeper examination of internal corporate ventures, the international domain, firm size, family firms, ethics, and corporate venture capital. These areas illustrate the developmental expansion of interest in CE across different domains.

Even with the continued expansion in the research on CE, there is so much that is still not understood nor researched well enough to fully advance the theoretical and empirical knowledge on CE. With the growing climate of disruption through external antecedents such as COVID-19, the entrepreneurial behavior of individuals within organizations becomes paramount and warrants a deeper understanding. Newer research questions on CE are emerging and further theoretical exploration should be the work of ongoing scholarly efforts.


  • Entrepreneurship

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