Archivio per: Management Toolbox

What companies get from Corporate Entrepreneurship

Reading time: 6 minutes

20 Apr
20/04/2017
Foto del profilo di David Bardolet

by David Bardolet

SDA Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management

Corporate entrepreneurship is a rising issue among executives. An increasing number of multinational companies are sponsoring “hackathon”-like events, screening potential investments in start ups or setting up corporate incubators to engage internal and external entrepreneurs. Moreover, the participation of corporations in venture capital funds – of their own or as limited partners – has recently experienced a sharp increase. For instance, the percentage of corporate venture capital on the total VC market in the U.S. has gone from 7% in 2008 to 13% in 2015. Yes, corporate entrepreneurship is a “hot” new thing.

Except for the fact that it is not really new. Since the 90s, companies have regularly engaged in various forms of interaction with start up communities and internal entrepreneurs, with varying degrees of success. One recurring fact in these past efforts, however, is how little they seem to last. For instance, the average life of a corporate venture capital unit is below two years. Similarly, corporate incubators and idea contests are announced with great fanfare only to be quietly downscaled or shut down relatively soon after, when the company’s cash becomes a bit more scarce or someone asks the question: “Why are we spending money on this?”. Often, it turns out they were doing it just for immediate media visibility, without any clear strategic objective. What is it that makes these efforts so unstable? Why can’t corporations be more consistent and patient in their approach to identifying and developing entrepreneurial ideas inside and outside their organizations?

In this article, I begin outlining the contours of a more comprehensive map of corporate entrepreneurship programs, their outcomes and the measures that might lead to a more effective method to evaluate and improve corporate entrepreneurship initiatives.

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Are you exploiting your Multinationality Advantage?

Reading time: 5 minutes

29 Giu
29/06/2016
Foto del profilo di Markus Venzin

by Markus Venzin

SDA Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management

Many Italian firms have increased their international presence substantially in the past two decades. The challenge these firms face now is to take advantage of their international footprint without suffering from what McKinsey has labelled “the Globalization Penalty”.

They try to generate multinationality advantage by creating larger, more specialized production hubs that serve several countries, by reducing fixed costs through the creation of regional headquarters, by leveraging on knowledge generated in different geographies, or by exploiting a firm’s specific resources such as talents, brand equity, technologies, and patents across multiple markets to increase revenues, reduce costs or manage risks.

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Knowledge Management: common sense, not common practice

Reading time: 6 minutes

13 Apr
13/04/2016

Foto del profilo di Markus Venzin

by Markus Venzin

SDA Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management

One of the main reasons why multinational firms exist is because they gain competitive advantage over purely local rivals by sharing knowledge across borders. But after more than two decades of articles and projects around the topic of management of knowledge (KM), KM as a managerial tool in multinational corporations (MNCs) is still showing a varying degree of impact, depending on the internal organizational culture, the incentives provided for collective participation or the ability of companies to effectively exploit the knowledge they produce on a global scale.

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The Corporate Entrepreneurship Equation

Reading time: 7 Minutes

27 Gen
27/01/2016
Foto del profilo di Markus Venzin

by Markus Venzin

SDA Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management

You do not frequently run into entrepreneurs in large, complex organizations. They are not attracted by all these rules, procedures and hierarchies. They prefer to work in small, agile firms or start their own venture.
If they end up in big firms, it is usually due to a recruiting mistake or the young entrepreneur’s belief that it is less costly to make the big mistakes somewhere else and after she gained some experience start her own venture. But soon salaries become better, risk-tolerance lower and the motivation to leave the safe corporate world is getting lower and lower.
And then hey, you can still be an entrepreneur in a large firm, can’t you?

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Strategy Talk: How to organize strategy meetings that work*

Reading time: 6 Minutes

11 Nov
11/11/2015
Foto del profilo di Markus Venzin

by Markus Venzin

SDA Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management

On a scale from 1 (not at all) to 10 (very much), how satisfied are you with your strategy meetings?

My feeling is that most managers are reasonably good at running meetings that are concerned with operational, short-term issues. But when they are called to organize a strategy workshop, many of them miserably fail.

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