Corporate entrepreneurship vs. corporate parenting: Do they fit together for creating value in the corporation?

Research output: Book chapterChapter


Corporate Entrepreneurship suggests that strategy can be shaped by viable internal entrepreneurial initiatives that drive value creation. In this framework there are several processes from the initial product championing to the selecting and launching stage. The corporate center has to design a structural and cultural context that allows the intrapreneurial initiatives to develop. Thus, Corporate Entrepreneurship involves a bottom-up approach to strategy. Corporate Parenting framework suggests that the corporate center adds value to strategic business units through its influence on them. Value creation occurs when parent characteristics fit with key success factors on each unit's industry and with its needs for improvement, which they call parenting opportunities. Thus, parenting framework involves a top-down approach to corporate strategy. In this view parenting dictates corporate strategy. The center envisions and the organization follows. Our approach is that corporate value creation is not solely driven by Corporate Entrepreneurship nor only by Corporate Parenting. Indeed, corporate value creation is shaped by a simultaneous process of mutual adjustment that takes place in the interaction of corporate management and intrapreneurs. Our proposition is that both strong Corporate Entrepreneurship and strong Corporate Parenting aligned leverage value creation in the company. Consequently, corporate value creation appears when parenting fits with entrepreneurial initiatives at any level in the organization. Using comparative case studies based on in-depth interviews we conduct an exploratory study. We have interviewed managers and intrapreneurs across different levels from four major companies. We identify four different parenting styles matching four different entrepreneurial organizational attitudes. From a theoretical perspective, this approach represents a confluence of two research streams: strategy (corporate parenting) and entrepreneurship (corporate entrepreneurship). From a practical perspective, the results of this research would be useful for those corporations that already implement corporate entrepreneurship activities or those that pretend to implement them in the future. Its conclusions suggest guidelines for matching parenting styles with intrapreneurial initiatives to improve the potential for increasing corporate value creation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrontiers of entrepreneurship research 2005: Proceedings of the twenty-fifth annual entrepreneurship research conference
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006


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