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When innovations bloom: analysing corporate venturing in the UK

Research output: Working paper

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  • L A Pittaway
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Abstract

Firms in the UK have begun to look at the creation of new businesses as a method to manage the flow of innovations and this has led to increased interest in corporate venturing. Corporate venturing is defined as growing a business from inside out and involves the establishment of new ventures inside existing organisations (Thornhill and Amit, 2001). Likewise the study of corporate venturing is becoming a focus of interest within the US research community. Researchers have recognised the links between corporate ventures and profitability (Zahra, 1991), the effects of ventures on strategic renewal (Guth and Ginsberg, 1990), on fostering innovation (Baden-Fuller, 1995) and on gaining future revenue streams (McGrath, Venkataraman and MacMillan, 1994). Within the UK, corporate venturing as a method of growth is rising, a survey by Edengene for example illustrated that at least 50% of the FTSE100 were planning to invest in corporate ventures and the development of dedicated venturing activities, such as incubators, is growing. This conference presentation will introduce an exploratory study of corporate venturing in the UK. The study has begun to track both longitudinally and historically, ventures using social constructionism, critical incident interviews (CIT - Chell and Pittaway, 1998a) and historical methods. The paper will include some initial historical data about cases of corporate venturing, will explore the current themes in the literature and will discuss the study underway. The data collection, analysis and interpretation processes will be discussed in some detail, to assist the construction of the research design