An Introduction to Corporate Entrepreneurship


I gave a lecture on the basics of Corporate Entrepreneurship to 62 students of the Master of Science (MSc) in Strategic Entrepreneurship at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. We discussed the importance of corporate entrepreneurship, its two components (corporate venturing and strategic entrepreneurship), its reliance on entrepreneurial behavior, and the role of managers.

It is difficult for firms in turbulent environments to achieve a sustained competitive advantage, because competitors continuously challenge the status quo. In order to survive, these firms should engage in both opportunity-seeking (entrepreneurship) and advantage-seeking (strategic management) behaviors (Hitt et al., 2011).

The tension between these two types of behavior is central to the Corporate Entrepreneurship literature. In the lecture “An Introduction to Corporate Entrepreneurship”, I taught the students of the Master of Science in Strategic Entrepreneurship the fundamentals of Corporate Entrepreneurship.

After establishing that corporate entrepreneurship consists of entrepreneurial behavior within medium and large firms, we discussed the two components of corporate entrepreneurship: corporate venturing—defined as “creating, adding to, or investing in new businesses” (Kuratko, 2010:132)—and strategic entrepreneurship, which is the promotion and support of entrepreneurial initiatives anywhere and everywhere in the organization.

Both of these components rely on the entrepreneurial behavior of employees and their ability to discover, evaluate, and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities (Kuratko, Ireland, Covin, & Hornsby, 2005: 704). We discussed the roles of top-, middle-, and operating managers and described how these roles are different in the case of a top-down or bottom-up approach to corporate entrepreneurship.

Required Readings

  • Kuratko, D. F. (2010). Corporate Entrepreneurship: An Introduction and Research Review. In Z. J. Acs & D. B. Audretsch (Eds.), Handbook of Entrepreneurship Research (pp. 129–163). Link
  • Floyd, S. W., & Lane, P. J. (2000). Strategizing Throughout the Organization: Managing Role Conflict in Strategic Renewal.Academy of Management Review, 25(1), 154-177 Link

The Corporate Entrepreneurship Course

The course Corporate Entrepreneurship is part of the core curriculum of the Strategic Entrepeneurship Master (MSc) of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. In the course, students learn how medium and large firms can remain competitive. You can find more information about the course here.