Guth and Ginsberg were among the first scholars attempting to clarify the domain by introducing two categories of corporate entrepreneurial activities, namely business venturing and strategic renewal. Zahra then divides corporate entrepreneurship into three components of innovation, venturing, and strategic renewal.
Other scholars have also categorized the domain of corporate entrepreneurship in different ways. However, the categories mostly lie within the three categories conceptualized by Zahra Covin and Miles , for instance, propose four forms of corporate entrepreneurship entailing sustained regeneration, organizational rejuvenation, strategic renewal, and domain redefinition. Sustained regeneration refers to the continuous introduction of new products and services and new market entrance. Organizational rejuvenation is defined as changing internal processes, structures, or capabilities.
These actions fundamentally reposition the firm in the market. Finally, domain redefinition is related to the creation of a new product-market arena that has not been recognized or actively exploited by other companies. Kuratko and Audretsch also add another category to the group: business model reconstruction. Some scholars differentiate internal and external corporate venturing. In internal corporate venturing, new businesses reside within the internal boundaries of a firm, yet they may act as semi-autonomous entities Morris et al.
Firms use governance modes such as corporate venture capital, non-equity alliance, joint ventures, and acquisitions for external corporate venturing. Corporate venture capital refers to the development of partnerships through investments in partners for financial and strategic purposes. Unlike corporate venture capital involving ownership in the relationship with partners, a non-equity alliance is concerned with the development of a new business with partners based on contracts.
It also differs from joint ventures in that the latter leads to the formation of a new legal entity by partners for pursuing opportunities. Acquisition refers to the internalization of a new venture by purchasing the majority of the share capital of a venture Schildt et al. Finally, licensing means gaining access to the knowledge, innovations, technologies, and discoveries of other firms in return for a fee Yang et al.
Scholars also distinguish between domestic and international venturing Yiu et al. Undertaking international venturing activities is considered to be more difficult than domestic venturing Yiu et al. Overall, the literature review shows that scholars have mainly focused on innovation, corporate venturing domestic and international , and strategic renewal as the main components of the corporate entrepreneurship construct. Yet, it is mostly used as a single meta-construct because these dimensions are supposed to be different, but complementary and mutually supportive concepts.
For example, renewing the competitive approach may increase the benefits of venturing activities, and new product development may make strategic renewal activities more beneficial Heavey et al. A summary of the most important prior studies on the antecedents of corporate entrepreneurship is provided in Appendix 1. In terms of their level of analysis, as shown in Figure 1, these studies can be categorized into four groups:. Previous research has mainly argued the origins of corporate entrepreneurship from the knowledge-based view Grant, , as summarized in Appendix 1.
This view mainly considers knowledge as the most important and strategic resource in firms. Hayton argues that diversity of human capital in the top management team enhances corporate entrepreneurship by facilitating knowledge acquisition and triggering learning.
Yiu and colleagues posit that firm-specific ownership advantages such as technological capabilities and business and institutional ties foster corporate entrepreneurship. Thorgren and colleagues contend that relational capital among partners through knowledge transfer promotes corporate entrepreneurship. Finally, Heavey and Simsek conclude that the size, diversity, and network size of the top management team increase the level of corporate entrepreneurship.
The critical literature review reveals that, despite significant insights provided by prior research, as shown in Figure 2, future research can address the following five research avenues, which build on the existing theoretical lenses. This literature, however, has paid less attention to organizational capabilities. The need to build linkage between unpacked capabilities and corporate entrepreneurship has been reinforced in more recent reviews and studies Phan et al.
Capabilities refer to the ability of a firm to combine different resources together and make them conduct advantageous tasks and activities Grant, As the building boxes of capabilities are organizational routines and processes Sarkar et al. In particular, one of the main challenges firms face in undertaking corporate entrepreneurship is the generation of new knowledge Teng, ; Zahra et al. Corporate entrepreneurship relies on new knowledge for doing things differently, or doing different things, manifesting in the forms of innovation in products and services, processes, systems, strategies, and markets Teng, As such, knowledge-based capabilities, such as absorptive capacity Zahra, or networking capabilities Sakhdari et al.
Thus, from an attention-based view Ocasio, , a channelling mechanism to focus organizational capabilities on corporate entrepreneurship may be necessary Sakhdari et al. Given that corporate entrepreneurial outputs are knowledge-intensive, firms need to develop new knowledge for pursuing corporate entrepreneurship Teng, Scholars have traditionally focused on internal development of knowledge Brouwer et al.
Recently, scholars have suggested sourcing new knowledge from other players in the market such as suppliers, customers, research centres, and competitors as a complementary and effective approach for companies pursuing corporate entrepreneurship Simsek et al. Yiu and colleagues , for example, suggest that network ties with customers enhance corporate entrepreneurship and international venturing activities in firms. Rothaermel and Deeds contend that prior network experience helps firms to better benefit from their network ties for innovative activities.
Heavey and Simsek , for instance, show that the network size of top management teams has a positive impact on corporate entrepreneurship. Prior studies hint at the importance of inter-firm relationships and external knowledge access in fostering corporate entrepreneurship. This literature, however, has adopted a static approach, and has done little to unpack networking capabilities for the formation and management of partnering relationships Sarkar et al.
Women and Business Leadership: Burns, J. Our study, like most studies on entrepreneurial intention, is not without limitations. Resulting from this, the concept of opportunity recognition became central to entrepreneurship research . Article Google Scholar Iakovleva, T. Energy Policy, 34 2 , — Pacheco, D.
Moreover, empirical results are mixed with regard to the impact of the number of business partners on corporate entrepreneurial activities, in particular in the context of developing countries and among smaller firms Lin et al. For example, Dyer and Hatch indicate that firm mechanisms for sharing knowledge with partners differentiate innovative performance of firms involved in different networks.
Institutions are formal rules and regulations and informal norms and values frameworks that affect the behaviour of individuals and firms by determining the rules of the game Peng, Apart from industry conditions and corporate capabilities, according to the industry-based perspective Porter, and resource-based view Barney, , a firm's behaviour is also a reflection of its institutional frameworks or contexts.
These frameworks can constrain or if well developed facilitate human and corporate behaviours Peng, ; Peng et al. Institutional contexts vary based on their levels of market orientation or development. Institutional market orientation refers to the extent to which an institutional context adheres to free-market policies Shinkle et al. Scholars have recently argued for the importance of different levels of institutional market orientation in action—output relationships.
This stream of research suggests that firms need different capabilities and strategies for rationally pursuing their interests in different contexts with distinctive levels of institutional market orientation Lin et al. Yet, less effort has been made in the literature of corporate entrepreneurship to contextualize corporate entrepreneurial activities. Yiu and Lau , for instance, do not reach significant results for the impact of the number of network ties on corporate entrepreneurial activities in the contexts of developing countries and call for future research to further investigate these connections in the context of developing contexts.
Similarly, more recent studies suggest that researchers should contextualize theorizing in entrepreneurship Bruton et al. The literature on corporate entrepreneurship lacks process models of corporate entrepreneurial activities. There are two general approaches to corporate entrepreneurship. The first one is an output-oriented approach considering corporate entrepreneurship as a number of market results such as innovation in products and services and venturing Simsek, ; Zahra, The second approach considers corporate entrepreneurship as a process entailing different phases Burgelman, ; Hornsby et al.
Process models can better tease apart the needed steps to enhance the levels of corporate entrepreneurship. Yet, there are very few process models explaining the process of corporate entrepreneurship. In particular, less effort has been devoted to theorizing the process of sub-dimensions of corporate entrepreneurship such as venturing and strategic renewal. For example, one of the rare process models of venturing is suggested by Burgelman , and there is a dearth of research on process models of corporate entrepreneurship. In his seminal paper, Burgelman posits that corporate entrepreneurship mainly results from entrepreneurial behaviours undertaken by employees at lower levels of companies.
Yet, surprisingly less attention has been given to the organizational mechanisms enabling firms to better stimulate entrepreneurial behaviours by their employees. How firms can utilize the underground behaviours for corporate entrepreneurship is under-investigated in the literature of corporate entrepreneurship. Yet, firms need both exploratory and exploitative activities for higher performance and innovative activities: the so-called ambidextrous firms Raisch et al. Indeed, although exploration and exploitation can be viewed as trade-offs for firms Gupta et al. Yet, surprisingly less attention has been given to the contextual mechanisms enabling firms to mitigate the tension between exploration and exploitation at individual levels, which can be a compelling path for future research.
Overall, the literature review presented in this article reveals that, despite a large body of informative research on corporate entrepreneurship, there is a dearth of research on more capability-oriented, social, contextualized, and process models and individual-level research of corporate entrepreneurship. The suggested paths for future research presented here may provide interesting insights into why some firms are more entrepreneurial than others. Barney, J. Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage. Journal of Management, 17 1 : 99— Behrens, J.
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Ambidexterity and Survival in Corporate Venture Units. Journal of Management , 40 7 : — Hitt, M. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 25 2 , 57— Hoskisson, R. Strategic Management Journal, 9 6 : — Hornsby, J. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice , 17 2 : 29— Jansen, J. The Academy of Management Journal , 48 6 : — Management Science , 52 11 : — Jones, G. Journal of Management, 18 4 : — Kane, T. Washington, DC: Heritage Foundation.
Organization Studies , 35 4 : — Katila, R. Academy of Management Journal , 45 6 : — Kellermanns, F. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 30 6 : — Kogut, B. Organization Science, 3 3 : — Kuratko, D. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33 1 : 1— Lin, Y. Lin, Z. Strategic Management Journal, 30 10 : — Ling, Y. Academy of Management Journal, 51 3 : — Luk, C. Journal of International Business Studies, 39 4 : — March, J. Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning. Organization Science, 2 1 : 71— Masoudnia, Y.
Research-Technology Management , 55 5 : 35— Miller, D. Management Science, 29 7 : — Morris, M. Naldi, L. Recent work identifies the need for a diverse mix of entrepreneurs. Roundy et al. Feld's advice that entrepreneurs must lead an entrepreneurial ecosystem resonates with the observation of Sweeney , p.
Only the entrepreneur does this. Successful entrepreneurial ecosystems in San Diego and Waterloo are characterized by a civic culture. In both of these cases, and also in Boulder Neck et al.
Mentoring is a key relationship, quite variable from place to place Spigel, b and is among the characteristics of the ideal entrepreneurial ecosystem which does not emerge overnight. Taken together, a civic culture and shared intentions and goals provide coherence within an ecosystem that also exhibits diversity. The market logic of individual entrepreneurs also needs the community logic provided by support organizations such as incubators and accelerators Roundy et al. One can conclude that the local scale is the most appropriate for studying entrepreneurial ecosystems.
The following section focuses attention on universities as central actors or hubs of entrepreneurial ecosystems and on the role of other intermediaries. The most important function of a university in many places is to provide highly skilled and specialized talent Bramwell et al. To achieve this takes time.
Rice et al. Baraldi and Ingemansson Havenvid describe the evolution of a university incubator to take on several new roles that embed it in global networks as well as within the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. However, incubators vary in the quality of their services and the degree of interaction and synergy they provide Fernandez Fernandez et al. Government economic development organizations also increasingly outsource service delivery to private firms. A particularly important issue is that of the evolution or life cycle of entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Do they develop identically, or even similarly, in different places and at different times? Do different types of blockbuster firms give rise to angels and a culture of mentoring in the same manner everywhere? Desalination, , 55— Here and everywhere—Sociology of scientific knowledge. Long Rang Planning. Social Cognition: From Brains to Culture.
Hoffman, M. Archived from the original on Journal of Business Venturing, 24 5 , —. If the scope is narrow, then the decline and even disappearance of an ecosystem is possible, as Mack and Mayer suggest. In this case, one could say that the ecosystem was only partial at best. More fundamental is to see entrepreneurial ecosystems as dynamic and evolving over time, creating a cumulative growth of new firms. A life cycle model is appealing, but the end result should be sustainability, not decline as in Mack and Mayer's model.
The contrast between weak and strong entrepreneurial ecosystems is helpful, in contrast to more generic approaches. The processes by which entrepreneurs help to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem are not automatic; they require capable entrepreneurs. Lichtenstein and Lyons , advocate for a proactive Entrepreneurial Development System to develop entrepreneurial skills technical, managerial, entrepreneurial, and personal maturity in individuals as a way to increase their entrepreneurial development level.
Critical to a dynamic view of entrepreneurial ecosystems is to recognize that entrepreneurship is socially constructed and coevolves with the similarly socially constructed and dynamic development of regions and places. Interactions can be sparked by policy initiatives, as in St. From the perspective of communities and regions, an entrepreneurial ecosystem should not be perceived as fixed.
An entrepreneurial ecosystem is likely not to be tied to a single technology or industry; indeed, the successful ones appear to have entrepreneurial dynamism that transcends industries and individual technologies. If an ecosystem were to decline, it would suggest the decline of firms in several technologies. The existential purpose of an entrepreneurial ecosystem is its own renewal, that is, the continuous formation of new firms through the support of the ecosystem and existing and prior entrepreneurs.
The community logic, as Roundy calls it, sees local development and its renewal and resilience as a purpose. In this section, I emphasize two topics: first, methods that might help us to know more about entrepreneurial ecosystems systematically, adding to the agenda proposed by Alvedalen and Boschma and, second, the situation of women entrepreneurs in the context of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Many different approaches have been attempted, mainly with quantitative datasets. Both of these efforts, and the work of Cukier et al. Research should be longitudinal.
Lawton Smith, Glasson, and Chadwick extend their scope beyond a single university to the entire Oxfordshire entrepreneurial ecosystem. Social network analysis, missing in entrepreneurial ecosystem research thus far, might provide a needed approach Alvedalen and Boschma, Data on attendees of events as rosters of the constantly changing social networks in an ecosystem might be gathered.
To understand an ecosystem through its events would require rosters of all attendees and their roles at all events over several years. Such data would be similar to what has begun on a few cities and contribute to the social network analysis espoused by Alvedalen and Boschma Another valuable approach is to identify and survey spinoff firms or spawns.
Mayer , , a , b has done this in several cities in the US Boise, Kansas City, Portland, Seattle , providing a long view but without details on all actors or other ecosystem components. Neck et al. Notably, Feldman and Lowe have assembled a database of 4, entrepreneurial firms—many of them spawns, or formal or informal spinoffs from a parent company—in North Carolina's Research Triangle. Auerswald suggests that we map an entrepreneurial ecosystem as a relational inventory of participants nodes and how they are connected edges. Taich, Piazza, Carter, and Wilcox find that all entrepreneurs say connectivity is important; fewer see the other measures as important.
However, Roundy et al. It is not easy to identify informal institutions, interactions with them, or their impact Lawton Smith, Nylund and Cohen urge measures of collision density, as taken up by Mulas et al. In New York City, the number of connections of entrepreneurs with angel investors, mentors, and others grew from to Research is underway in several cities to map network connections Fernandez, However, longitudinal case studies are sure to continue, providing nuance and rich empirical detail.
A major challenge is to monitor and measure a multidimensional entrepreneurial ecosystem annually and over time, as Harrington , shows. Cukier et al. Roundy suggests that we need more narrative accounts of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Beyond success stories, we also need more historical accounts e.
Roundy cites six purposes of narratives: transmitting the ecosystem's culture for one generation, community, or group to another, making sense of the ecosystem, constructing the ecosystem's identity which might vary markedly from prevailing accounts , legitimating the ecosystem, attracting attention to it, and charting the ecosystem's future. All of these narratives have a local purpose; some will add to our theoretical understanding.
Is an entrepreneurial ecosystem equally supportive of all entrepreneurs? Women entrepreneurs have been largely seen as secondary to men Ahl, , so entrepreneurial ecosystems might not be gender blind. He observes that both Kansas City and St. Using citation data this paper has identified the key contributors to the concept of entrepreneurial ecosystems. It has paid attention primarily to the dynamic process that creates and sustains such an ecosystem. Indeed, the existential purpose of an entrepreneurial ecosystem is its own renewal, through the continuous formation of new firms utilizing the support of the ecosystem and existing and prior entrepreneurs.
However, it is not yet clear if the entrepreneurial ecosystem is a useful concept for all regions. Perhaps, it is appropriate only for regions which already have a critical mass of new firms. Mulas et al. More comparative research is needed on ecosystems at various stages of development.
More likely are benefits from having benchmarks that can provide targets for local focus and policy. This collective action is an example of everyday entrepreneurship, in which Steyaert and Katz , p. Additional questions arise for which more research is needed. For example, is an entrepreneurial ecosystem an aspirational level or status which only some places have attained, while others have not?
Or are there degrees of ecosystemness that suggest growth and development, as in Cukier et al. More research by economic geographers will both illuminate the processes at work in entrepreneurial ecosystems in their geographical contexts and help entrepreneurs and policymakers incorporate entrepreneurial ecosystems within regional development. This paper has reviewed several attempts to understand the evolution of entrepreneurial ecosystems over time, a shortcoming noted by Alvedalen and Boschma Financial support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is appreciated. Thanks also to two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of the paper.
Edward J. An economic geographer, his specializations are in economic development, technology, telecommunications, and entrepreneurship. He is an associate editor of Entrepreneurship and Regional Development. Volume 12 , Issue 3. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Geography Compass Volume 12, Issue 3.