Edited by Pietro Mazzola and Franz W. Kellermanns
Chapter 15: Entrepreneurial Orientation: The Driving Force for Corporate Entrepreneurship
Esra Memili, G. T. Lumpkin and Gregory G. Dess INTRODUCTION Corporate entrepreneurship (CE) and entrepreneurial orientation (EO) have received considerable research interest as they are crucial to organizational survival, profitability, growth, and renewal (Zahra, 1996). Whereas CE serves the purpose of creation and pursuit of new venture opportunities and strategic renewal (Dess and Lumpkin, 2005), EO is the driving force for CE. Indeed, firms with a strong EO – involving the processes, practices, and decision-making styles that help firms identify and capture entrepreneurial opportunities – tend to have competitive advantages in pursuing CE activities that can take the form of internal or external corporate venturing, innovation, and/or strategic renewal (Covin and Slevin, 1991; Kuratko, 2005; Lumpkin and Dess, 1996; Sharma and Chrisman, 1999; Zahra, 1995). Hence, firms that want to successfully pursue CE need to have an EO (Dess and Lumpkin, 2005). Despite general agreement on the positive contribution of EO and CE, the field of entrepreneurship still lacks agreement on the definitions of terms and the distinctive characteristics of CE and EO (Sharma and Chrisman, 1999). The term ‘entrepreneurship’ is often used without differentiating between individual, group, and organizational entrepreneurship. In addition to ambiguity regarding the level of analysis, the difference between corporate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial orientation seems to be conceptually unclear. Such a lack of theoretical clarity inhibits the specification of the domain of the constructs and the development of appropriate measures in empirical entrepreneurship studies, consequently preventing researchers’ scientific understanding, explanation, and prediction as well as limiting guidance available...
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