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Pia Arenius and Riikka Franzén

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Henri Burgers and Vareska Van de Vrande

Burgers and van de Vrande recognize the important role of the individual agent in the pursuit of corporate venturing (CV). They review the literature and distill three different views of corporate entrepreneurs. The first is “outcome driven” where the focus is on the results of CE, without directly considering the individuals engaged in the process. This view ignores the individual and has tilted research to focus on formal CE activities. Entrepreneurship is a nexus between individuals and opportunities, and this view ignores this intimate and powerful link. The second view centers on the “context of CE” where individual behavior is defined and shaped by organizational realities such as level of autonomy and the support of middle managers. This view is important for separating corporate entrepreneurs who identify and pursue opportunities inside the firm from independent entrepreneurs who might define an opportunity and then pursue it externally. The third view is a more individual driven notion of CE. The authors then develop an integrative model that connects these three views, allowing the identification of seven different types of corporate entrepreneurs. Using data from the panel study of entrepreneurial dynamics (PSED), the authors show how these entrepreneurs differ in their human capital endowments and the characteristics of opportunities they pursue. This study highlights the critical value of human capital and understanding context in determining CE and those individuals who undertake these activities.
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Gary Dushnitsky and Miles Shaver

This chapter examines the role of corporate venture capital (CVC) in enabling companies to gain access to innovations created by startups. These innovations can be a substitute or complement to a firm’s own innovations and ongoing market activities. Dushnitsky and Shaver reason that incumbents who use CVC typically rely on the disclosures made by the entrepreneurial startups themselves and, therefore, can fairly reliably assess the potential effect of their technologies. Using data from over 2500 startups, the authors identify 167 CVC investments. Their analyses reveal that CVC investments are likely to occur where there is complementarity in the products of corporate investors and startups. Their results also reinforce the importance of strategic objectives that companies have when they make their CVC investments. Interestingly, their results reflect a fundamental difference between CVC activities and other modes of venturing; in CVC investments, companies typically transact with startups with which they have no relationship, and thus focus more on what these new ventures have to offer in terms of complementarity.
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Visual Branding

A Rhetorical and Historical Analysis

Edward F. McQuarrie and Barbara J. Phillips

Visual Branding pulls together analyses of logos, typeface, color, and spokes-characters to give a comprehensive account of the visual devices used in branding and advertising. The book places each avenue for visual branding within a rhetorical framework that explains what that device can accomplish for the brand. It lays out the available possibilities for constructing logos and distinguishes basic types along with examples of their use and evolution over time.
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Edward F. McQuarrie and Barbara J. Phillips

In Chapter 9, we distinguish between pictorial content and pictorial style. While both are important to visual branding, we explain why a rhetorical perspective cannot do much with pictorial content. We then distinguish nine kinds of pictorial style, based primarily on the purpose served by the picture and the relative predominance, in an ad, of pictures relative to words. We also discuss why conventional psychological perspectives on brand advertising tend to under-play the importance of pictures in branding, and likewise understate the range of persuasive and branding functions that can be performed by pictures.
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Edward F. McQuarrie and Barbara J. Phillips

Chapter 3 draws on a large sample of brand marks from leading contemporary brands to develop a typology of the rhetorical possibilities for brand mark design. We first critique existing attempts to divvy up the space of possibilities for the design of marks. Next, we distinguish six fundamental design options, grouped into three zones. The zones distinguish brand mark design options according to how much visual stimulation and reward they potentially offer the consumer. At the bottom are logotypes: text-only brand marks, which may be black and white or in color. In the next-higher zone we place graphicized logotypes: designs in which text remains dominant, but which also include graphic elements. In the simplest case, the text making up the brand name is surrounded by a border or placed on a color field. More visually stimulating are cases of letter art, where one or more letters in the brand name are reworked and extended with graphic elements. In the third and highest zone are logos proper, where the text is less dominant. There are two possibilities here: text of the brand name may be emblazoned on a graphic background or, even more stimulating, the text of the name may be accompanied by a stand-alone graphic design, an emblem. The chapter concludes with empirical data supporting the typology, based on a sample of more than 200 leading brand marks, and a discussion of possible extensions and challenges.
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Edward F. McQuarrie and Barbara J. Phillips

Chapter 6 is the first of four chapters that examine the individual elements used in visual branding. As such, this chapter begins with an extended critique of psychological perspectives on typeface and the other visual elements. We compare the Cartesian model that underlies psychological treatments, which assumes infinite gradations within an n-dimensional space of typeface design possibilities, with the more finite model assumed under rhetorical perspectives, in which there are a limited number of discrete gambits for design of a typeface. Drawing on the 500 brand marks assembled earlier for Chapters 3 and 4, we lay out these basic gambits, which include whether to make the typeface figurative or not, and whether to emphasize weight or flourish in the design of individual letters. We then draw on the historical data in Chapters 1 and 2 to show that visual branding through typeface design developed slowly. Specifically, while brand managers have carefully selected type, almost from the beginning of brand advertising before 1900, it was only after the 1920s that many brands began to design their own custom typefaces, and to enforce consistency in typeface over time and across brand appearances. Prior to that date brands tended to make fickle choices among typefaces judged to be either decorative, or suitable for flagging reader attention. The point of the chapter is that the elements of visual branding were not all immediately commandeered, and that visual branding is not a timeless endeavor, but one which emerged in history, with different elements following different trajectories.
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Zeki Simsek and Ciaran Heavey

Simsek and Heavey regard corporate entrepreneurship (CE) as an organizational dynamic capability that requires considerable knowledge and resources. They develop a relational view of CE where firms use their alliances to gain the knowledge and skills essential to make CE successful. They argue that the portfolio of these alliances influences the effect of CE on a firm’s performance. The authors also theorize that this effect rises when the complementarity of the firm’s resource portfolio increases as well as its asset specificity, tacit knowledge and related first-mover advantages rises. They use data collected from the top management teams of 120 small to medium companies operating throughout New England to test these hypotheses. Simsek and Heavey find CE to positively impact firm performance. They also find the interaction of resource complementarity and asset specificity to be positively related to company performance, enhancing the effect of CE on firm performance. The interaction effect of CE and portfolio knowledge specificity is significant but negative. The interaction effect with first-mover advance is negative but lacks significance. Overall, Simsek and Heavey’s discussion and empirical findings support the proposition that alliances do more than fill gaps in a firm’s resources. Alliances also help support CE and increase its potency in affecting firm performance. However, the authors observe that not all alliance portfolios are alike in their effect on the CE–performance relationship. Their results, therefore, reinforce the view that organizations often need to go beyond their boundaries to garner the resources needed for CE—an activity that often suffers from resource scarcity and unevenness in the supply of these resources.
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Elton L. Scifres, James J. Chrisman and Esra Memili

Scifres, Chrisman and Memili examine the role of environmental change in fueling corporate entrepreneurship (CE) activities in the US banking industry, which has been the subject of considerable upheaval because of technological and regulatory changes. These environmental shifts have added much dynamism, but have also introduced considerable hostility into the industry. As a result, the pursuit of CE has become essential for achieving strategic renewal and effective adaptation. Using data from 797 US banks which experienced an environmental revolution, Scifres et al. advance three hypotheses: a) more organizations will engage in strategic change; b) most of these strategic changes will be incremental in nature; c) incremental rather than radical changes will be more strongly correlated with organizational performance. Scifres et al. use five strategic groups to test their hypotheses. They find that more of the banks pursued strategic change than showed no such change, supporting their prediction. Analyses also revealed that the majority of firms engaged in incremental changes. Analysis of covariance showed a curvilinear relationship between the degree of change in strategic renewal and bank performance. Banks that undertook incremental changes experienced lower declines in their financial performance compared to other strategic groups. In a way, these are counterintuitive findings but they make the point that companies that aggressively pursue strategic renewal through CE may pay a price—that is, too much change further disrupts internal operations and depresses performance. Managers need to be careful as they embark upon strategic renewal efforts amid rapid and unpredictable environmental changes.
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Edward F. McQuarrie and Barbara J. Phillips

Chapter Seven unifies the field of spokes-characters under the umbrella of attempts to personify the brand. We offer a typology of spokes-characters that distinguishes between human or creature, fictive or real, and custom or stock characters. We discuss the possible benefits of personifying the brand, and develop a model of how visual branding can change brand meanings, using spokes-characters as a salient example of how such meaning change may proceed.