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Published: February 13, 2003

 
 

The Paradox of Corporate Entrepreneurship


About the Research

This article draws from the author’s ongoing research into the antecedents and consequences of corporate entrepreneurship. The first phase of this research, reported in Entrepreneurship in the Global Firm (Sage, 2000), “Subsidiary Initiatives to Develop New Markets” (Sloan Management Review, 1998), and “Unleash Innovation in Foreign Subsidiaries” (Harvard Business Review, 2001), focused on specific entrepreneurial initiatives pursued by managers in overseas subsidiaries. The second phase focused on the nature of corporate entrepreneurship as a firmwide phenomenon, and the role of head office executives. Companies involved in this phase included ABB, BP, “Datakom,” Diageo, Enron, Ericsson, HP, Oracle, Pharmacia, Sara Lee, and Spirent. The third phase of research is focusing on corporate venturing as a specific activity that many large firms undertake to enhance their entrepreneurial capability. Companies involved in this study include BT Group, GlaxoSmithKline, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Lucent, Nokia, Philips, Reuters, Shell, and Unilever.


Authors
Julian Birkinshaw, [email protected]
Julian Birkinshaw is an associate professor of strategic and international management at the London Business School. His research and consulting focuses on the internal dynamics of large organizations; in particular, on their approaches to becoming more entrepreneurial. He is the author of five books, including the forthcoming Inventuring: Why Big Companies Must Think Small (McGraw-Hill, March 2003).
 
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Resources

  1. Julian M. Birkinshaw, “Entrepreneurship in Multinational Corporations: The Characteristics of Subsidiary Initiative,” Strategic Management Journal, Volume 18, Issue 2, 1997; Click here. 
  2. Robert A. Burgelman, “A Process Model of Internal Corporate Venturing in the Diversified Major Firm,” Administrative Science Quarterly, Volume 28, 1983; Click here. 
  3. Henry W. Chesbrough, “Making Sense of Corporate Venture Capital,” Harvard Business Review, March 2002; Click here. 
  4. Jay Galbraith, “Designing the Innovating Organization,” Organizational Dynamics, Winter 1982
  5. Gary Hamel, “Bringing Silicon Valley Inside,” Harvard Business Review, September 1999; Click here. 
  6. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, “The Middle Manager as Innovator,” Harvard Business Review, July 1982; Click here. 
  7. Michael L. Tushman and Charles A. O’Reilly, “Ambidextrous Organizations: Managing Evolutionary and Revolutionary Change,” California Management Review, Volume 38, Number 4, 1996; Click here. 
  8. Clayton M. Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Harvard Business School Press, 1997)
  9. Peter Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles (Harper & Row, 1985)
  10. Richard N. Foster and Sarah Kaplan, Creative Destruction: Why Companies That Are Built to Last Underperform the Market — and How to Successfully Transform Them (Currency Doubleday, 2001)
  11. Sumantra Ghoshal and Christopher A. Bartlett, The Individualized Corporation: A Fundamentally New Approach to Management (HarperBusiness, 1997)
  12. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, When Giants Learn to Dance: Mastering the Challenge of Strategy, Management, and Careers in the 1990s (Simon & Schuster, 1989)
  13. Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies (Harper & Row, 1982)
  14. Gifford Pinchot III, Intrapreneuring: Why You Don’t Have to Leave the Company to Become an Entrepreneur (Harper & Row, 1985)
 
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