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Donald F. Kuratko

This chapter reviews the evolution of corporate entrepreneurship (CE) over the last four decades. Initially seen as incompatible within established organizations, (corporate) entrepreneurship is now recognized as a fundamental way in which organizations renew their competitive positions and enter new businesses. The chapter identifies five stable antecedents of middle managers’ entrepreneurial behavior, arguing that managers are most likely to act entrepreneurially when these five conditions are widely known and accepted. The chapter then describes middle managers’ role as “lynchpins” of CE activity and outlines four key challenges that middle managers face in the CE process. The chapter concludes with a discussion of research challenges and priorities for researchers.

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Donald F. Kuratko

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Michael H. Morris and Donald F. Kuratko

A resource-based perspective on the venture types is introduced. It focuses on the kinds of resources each category of venture tends to have, and the manner in which these resources are deployed. It is argued that resources determine what the entrepreneur is able to create, and what the venture is able to become. They provide the means for experimentation, risk-taking, and development of proactive approaches that enable growth. As such, one of the most significant challenges confronting entrepreneurial ventures is the determination of how resources can best be used to achieve sustainability. For each venture type the configuration of the resource portfolio, the properties of these resource configurations, and the bundling and leveraging processes involved when managing resources are investigated.

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Michael H. Morris and Donald F. Kuratko

People tend to develop identities that reflect how they see themselves at a fundamental or core level. Identities also emerge at the organizational level. Based on their interactions over time, the people that make up an organization come to develop a set of beliefs regarding what is central, distinctive and enduring about a business. In this chapter the role played by identity in the four venture types is explored. Attention is first devoted to the entrepreneurial identity of the founder, and how this might influence the tendency to develop a survival, lifestyle, managed growth or aggressive growth venture. Considered also is the likelihood that this is a two-way relationship, with outcomes from each venture type serving to affect the founder’s identity. The chapter then looks at the concept of organizational identity, illustrating how a number of the underlying characteristics that define the venture types are key determinants of the kind of organizational identity that emerges. Finally, the importance of identity in establishing and maintaining the legitimacy of each type of venture is examined.

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Michael H. Morris and Donald F. Kuratko

The question, “how do entrepreneurs decide what type of venture they should create?” is addressed. Consideration is given to the issue of fit between the type of venture being created and the nature of the individual who starts and runs the business. The personality, ambitions, experiences, risk tolerance, values, time horizons, skills and other characteristics of the individual can influence how he or she builds the business and what it becomes. The chapter also examines how some of the unique attributes of entrepreneurs and the circumstances they confront impact the entrepreneur’s decision process for a specific type of venture.

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Michael H. Morris and Donald F. Kuratko

The four venture categories do not represent a continuum where ventures simply vary by degree. Each venture type is a unique category of enterprise with a unique identity. The differences between any two types tend to be much greater than the differences among the businesses of a given type. However, the ventures that make up each category are not homogeneous. Within each of the four venture types one encounters considerable variance. As a result, types within types can be identified. The challenge becomes one of placing these businesses into sub-categories that enable us to better understand how they function. This chapter explores the potential underlying differences among ventures of a given type, and draws implications from these sub-categories.

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Michael H. Morris and Donald F. Kuratko

The relative contributions of each of the four venture types are assessed. Relationships and interdependencies among the four types are investigated and the disproportionate benefits produced by aggressive growth ventures are tied to these interdependencies. A series of arguments are presented regarding the need to encourage all four types of ventures. Based on these arguments, the adoption of a portfolio perspective is advocated. As with a financial portfolio, risks and returns to society will be maximized when there is a balance across the portfolio of ventures. Implications are drawn for venture portfolios that are unbalanced, or over-emphasize a particular type of venture.

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Michael H. Morris and Donald F. Kuratko

In this chapter, attention is devoted to identifying ways that public policies and support initiatives at the community (or local ecosystem) level can be developed in tandem to foster a balanced portfolio of venture types. Ongoing gaps in policies and programs to foster venture creation are identified. Key policy levers and community support elements that could be used to facilitate entrepreneurship are then identified. The elements of a more holistic policy framework are described – one that reflects the needs and challenges of the different venture types over their stages of development.