Handbook of Research on Corporate Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on Corporate Entrepreneurship

Edited by Shaker A. Zahra, Donald O. Neubaum and James C. Hayton

Corporate entrepreneurship is about remaking organizations; it affects organizational cultures and systems, which, in turn, influence the magnitude, direction and content of corporate entrepreneurship activities. This Handbook hopes to synthesize what we know and clarify what we need to know about key issues such as strategic renewal, innovation and venturing activities within established companies, giving direction to future research.
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Chapter 3: A dynamic human capital perspective on corporate opportunity identification

Mathew Hughes, Deniz Ucbasaran and Miranda Lewis


Hughes, Ucbasaran and Lewis observe that, despite a plethora of prior studies, little systematic and careful attention has been given to internal variables in studying corporate entrepreneurship (CE). Rather, most research has focused on external variables, such as the environment. Given the paucity of research on internal variables, the authors focus on the role of human capital in promoting CE. In conceptualizing CE, Hughes et al. emphasize corporate opportunity identification—an issue that has not been well studied in the literature. They propose that companies with better skilled human capital would be better positioned to identify more opportunities than companies with lower quality human capital. Hughes et al. make a distinction between two types of human capital: firm-specific and entrepreneurial-specific. They further observe that the relationship with opportunity identification will be higher (stronger) for firm-specific and entrepreneurial-specific human capital. Moreover, they advance that the relationship between human capital and opportunity identification will be moderated by the firm’s systems and processes. Next, they propose that increases in corporate opportunity recognition can lead to increased and higher skilled human capital, thereby recognizing the importance of CE as an important mechanism for employee engagement that enhances firm capabilities.

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