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Corporate and Start-up Entrepreneurship

Discovering and conducting new business - Corporate and Start-up Entrepreneurship

"If you want to have a small company, buy a big one and just wait" (Tom Peters)

We are engaged in research and practical projects on how companies can uncover new business opportunities and develop them in a target-oriented way.

Companies have to reinvent themselves regularly. Strategic fields of activity that were attractive yesterday can be completely transformed in the near future by trends or new offers from start-ups or established companies. Not surprisingly, we therefore experience that even market-dominating companies disappear over time or at least massively lose their importance. Accordingly, it is important for companies to recognize and evaluate opportunities for future attractive business fields. This applies to start-up companies - that are facing this situation for the first time - and to established companies alike ("Corporate Entrepreneurship").

Exemplary research questions that we focus on comprise:

  • Which characteristics and leadership styles of top managers promote entrepreneurial behavior in established companies?
  • Which organizational structures in established companies foster the identification and development of future attractive business segments?
  • How should start-ups deal with longer phases of stagnation or even "negative growth" and what levers exist to achieve growth again from these phases of stagnation?
  • How should companies deal with failure? How can companies derive maximum benefit from failure experiences?

In practical applications and industry cooperations we are dealing with the following questions:

  • Which tools can be used to systematically search for new opportunities for future business ("Opportunity Recognition Tools")?
  • Which organizational boundary conditions allow the pursuit of new business ideas if these contradict existing business logic in the company?
  • What can incubator programs look like and what are success factors?
  • What incentives are available to promote entrepreneurial behaviour in established companies?

Selected publications:

  • Nuscheler, D./Engelen, A./Zahra, S. (forthcoming): The role of top management teams in transforming technology-based new ventures’ product introductions into growth, in: Journal of Business Venturing.
  • Engelen, A./Neumann, C./Schmidt, S. (2016): Should Entrepreneurially Oriented Firms Have Narcissistic CEOs?, in: Journal of Management, 42(3), 698–721.
  • Schneider, M./Engelen, A. (2015): Enemy or Friend? The Cultural Impact of Cross-functional Behavior on the EO performance Link, in: Journal of World Business, 50(3), 439‒453.
  • Saeed, S./Engelen, A./Yousafzai, S. (2014): On Cultural and Macroeconomic Contingencies of the Entrepreneurial Orientation-Performance Relationship, in: Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(3), 255–290.
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