Corporate entrepreneurship for innovation and adaptation

By on May 28, 2014

Entrepreneurs are ordinary people who do extraordinary things” -Morris et al.

This simple statement actually has a deeper meaning which still remains mostly unexplored in the literature and more specifically in real life understanding and application in the corporate arena. Entrepreneurship is often conceived in a very narrow sense as the start-up of a new business (Morris et al., 2011).

An insight on entrepreneurship

In common parlance, this is probably the only definition of entrepreneurship limiting its scope to the establishment of a new business. However, entrepreneurship is a much broader concept. Hisrich (2010) states that there are three key dimensions of entrepreneurship:

  1. Innovation.
  2. Proactivity.
  3. Risk propensity.

The question here is that can these dimensions not found within the scope of an existing organization? If yes, will it not come under the purview of entrepreneurship?

Corporate entrepreneurship on a global platform

Unlike past, current businesses face stiff global competition that compel them to check the effectiveness of traditional management practices. Today, they are required to create and sustain innovation within their organizations. This is the basic idea behind ‘Corporate Entrepreneurship’ . It refers to the entrepreneurial activities carried out by the employees within the organization. Corporate entrepreneurship is an organizational process to convert individual ideas into shared ideas and actions relating to initiating an innovation within the organization by its employees through managing the uncertainties (Davila et al., 2007). However, even till date there has been no universally accepted definition of Corporate Entrepreneurship. The only consensus that can be found in the literature relates to that; it is concerned with entrepreneurship within the organization (Cuervo et al., 2007).

Morris et al (2011) assert that traditionally, the organizations have been busy finding out efficient ways of doing routine tasks and not enough time is given to finding out new ways and solutions. However in current competitive global environment, organizations need to promote corporate entrepreneurship. Provision of enough capital, infrastructural support along with the necessary freedom to develop innovative ideas of the corporate entrepreneurs can also foster corporate entrepreneurship.

Promoting corporate entrepreneurship in organizations

Another significant facilitator of corporate entrepreneurship in an organization is the view that; failure is a step towards learning. Organizations need to be more flexible and more tolerant to failures to support corporate entrepreneurship. Innovations must be a norm in the organization and any failures during the pursuit of innovation must be taken in a healthy way. Corporate entrepreneurs must be supported, motivated and rewarded (Morris et al., 2011). A higher degree of top management commitment and an explicit support to innovation are prerequisites to corporate entrepreneurship (Davila et al., 2007).

Sustainability through corporate entrepreneurship

It can be said that entrepreneurship is not an act to essentially start something new rather it is an approach to identifying a feasible business opportunity and showing the courage to work on such opportunity taking into account all the associated risks. Corporate entrepreneurship is the new path in achieving sustainable competitive advantage on a global platform. The traditional management hierarchies and bureaucratic models need to be replaced by an open organizational culture of experimentation, flexibility, learning and adaptation (Morris et al., 2011).


  • Cuervo, A., Ribeiro, D., & Roig, S. (2007). Entrepreneurship: Concepts, Theory and Perspective. Springer.
  • Davila, T., Epstein, M., & Shelton, R. (2007). The Creative Enterprise: Culture. Praeger Publications.
  • Hisrich, R. (2010). International Entrepreneurship: Starting, Developing, and Managing a Global Venture.London: SAGE Publications Inc.
  • Morris, M., Kuratko, D., & Covin, J. (2011). Corporate Entrepreneurship & Innovation. South-Western Cengage Learning.