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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

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Michael H. Morris and Donald F. Kuratko

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Michael H. Morris and Donald F. Kuratko

The nature of the entrepreneurial journey is explored to illustrate how ventures organically emerge. Each venture has a purpose and mission, develops a culture and values that guide its operations, and plans for the future, reacts to threats and opportunities, and attempts to ensure long-term viability. It takes risks and makes mistakes. It can be creative, developing new products and services, and looking for ways to improve its internal ways of doing things. It nurtures an image in the marketplace and within the communities where it operates. Accomplishing all of this is the work of the entrepreneur. Usually with insufficient resources, he or she must overcome obstacles, demonstrate tenacity, and constantly solve new problems. In the end, most ventures are created in the face of adversity, and it is the entrepreneur who has a vision, addresses the critical implementation risks, makes the necessary adjustments, and keeps a venture going through the inevitable ups and downs that occur.

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Michael H. Morris and Donald F. Kuratko

The types of ventures that emerge from the entrepreneurial journey are examined. A typology is introduced that distinguishes four categories of early stage ventures: survival, lifestyle, managed growth and aggressive growth. The typology builds upon past attempts at classifying entrepreneurial firms, while also addressing some of the shortcomings in these earlier efforts. The commonalities among the ventures in each of the four categories are considered as well as some of the major differences between the types. The chapter illustrates how the path-dependent nature of the decisions and resource commitments surrounding each type of venture make it difficult, though not impossible, for ventures to progress from one category to another.

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Michael H. Morris and Donald F. Kuratko

The single largest category of start-up ventures is survival businesses, and they are the focus of this chapter. The term survival is used to describe a venture that struggles to stay in business on a continuous basis. It can also be referred to as a “hand-to-mouth” venture in the sense that, at best, just enough revenue is generated to pay bills and cover expenses, including paying the entrepreneur (but often less than he or she might earn working for someone else). However, little to nothing is left over to reinvest in the business. It is quite difficult to ever get ahead with these types of businesses. Instead, there is an ongoing struggle just to keep up. Hence, both the venture and the entrepreneur do little more than survive or get by.

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Michael H. Morris and Donald F. Kuratko

Lifestyle ventures, the second most common form of start-up, are examined in detail. More than a survival business, which exists on a hand-to-mouth basis, the lifestyle venture can be relatively profitable. It affords the entrepreneur a decent living, and so supports a lifestyle for them and their families. We explore the nature and importance of these ventures, identifying the specific characteristics that make them a unique category. We consider how they emerge, and how they come to define the lifestyle of the entrepreneur. Some of the more significant strategic and operational challenges confronted by lifestyle entrepreneurs are investigated, and the relative efficiency and role played by technology in these ventures are reviewed. Based on their characteristics and the challenges they confront, implications are drawn for ways lifestyle ventures can be sustainable.