BORIS Theses

BORIS Theses
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Exploring internal corporate venture teams

Villiger, Jessica (2020). Exploring internal corporate venture teams. (Thesis). Universität Bern, Bern

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Everyone is striving for innovation. Even corporations with dominant market positions recognize that innovation is a key ingredient for their long-term survival in today’s dynamic business landscape in which they navigate. Traditionally, corporations engaged in external corporate venturing, where they invested or bought new venture firms to gain access to innovation (cf. Keil, 2004). This approach, however, has also shown its drawbacks as the corporate parent often did not fully possess the innovation or the developed products did not fully fit with the corporate parent’s expectations. To overcome these challenges, corporations increasingly invest in internal corporate venturing (Burgelman, 1983) as they become aware of the innovation potential residing within themselves. For this purpose, corporations increasingly set up teams within their own organizational boundaries pursuing the goal of exploring new business opportunities. In my dissertation, I refer to the terminology Internal Corporate Venture Teams (ICVT) to describe this team phenomenon. ICVTs are used as strategic means to pursue the creation of new business opportunities for the corporate parent that the existing operating business units are unable to capture (Burgelman, 1983). The reasons why corporations rely on ICVTs are numerous: ICVTs as an organizational unit offer the flexibility of much smaller firms to keep up with the innovation pace of new venture firms (Crockett, McGee, & Payne, 2013; Hill & Hlavacek, 1972); ICVTs allow a corporation to innovate in a safe environment without putting its traditional businesses at risk if the venture fails; and the ICVT’s independence from the normal decision-making criteria of the firm (Crockett et al., 2013) ensures that novel product ideas with no immediate commercial value will not be dismissed right up front but translated into new product innovations (Hill & Hlavacek, 1972) which might become a new core competences of the corporation. Whereas the team literature about top management teams (TMT) (Hambrick & Mason, 1984) or new venture teams (NVT) (Klotz, Hmieleski, Bradley, & Busenitz, 2014) is well defined, a lack of conceptual clarification exists about what an ICVT is. Consequently, we have little knowledge about what has already been studied about this team phenomenon. With my dissertation, I aim to fill this research gap. The overall research goal is to clarify the conceptual boundaries of what constitutes an ICVT and which facets of an ICVT drive the team to success. For this purpose, I conducted a systematic literature review to depict the current state-of-the-art of ICVT research (Study 1) and then performed a meta-analysis to identify the facets of an ICVT that can be considered success factors (Study 2). With the realization of both reviews (Study 1 & 2), I gained extensive experience and knowledge about the task of coding, which is a key activity when conducting reviews. To share insights about what needs to be considered when planning and performing the coding process, I developed together with my research colleagues a coding guideline (Study 3). This coding guideline serves scientists in conducting meta-analyses of a higher quality standard and higher levels of contribution to their research field. Based on the three research projects described above I wanted to achieve the following: (1) address the existing lack of terminological coherence in current literature by integrating the identified conceptual boundaries of ICVTs into a multi-faceted definition, thus promoting a unified use of the term ICVT to allow scholars build upon their knowledge and create a more coherent stream of literature, (2) provide a holistic picture about the key facets that have already been investigated when studying ICVTs and identify blank spots where future research is needed for the continuing development of our understanding about how ICVTs function, (3) raise scholars’ awareness for the importance of using fine-grained performance outcomes instead of aggregated outcomes when studying teams because specific performance outcomes (e.g. team efficiency, team innovativeness, new product financial success) in a meta-analysis can explain the existing controversy in a research field, (4) relatedly to this fine-grained approach, I aimed at providing a more nuanced perspective on how different performance outcomes have different sets of success factors, such insights allow meta-analysts to give more precise managerial recommendations, (5) with my reviews, I also respond to prior researchers’ calls for the need to clarify the black box of performance of highly innovative teams by revealing key performance metrics on the team- and product-level of analysis, (6) building on my experience of conducting reviews, I also wanted to raise scholars’ awareness about the crucial role that the task of coding plays in a meta-analysis since depending on how authors proceeded with their coding can cause variance in meta-analytic results, (7) finally, as misguided coding decisions can distort conclusions upon which an entire research community builds, together with my research colleagues I extend prior cardinal methodological resources by offering a four-step coding guideline that enables meta-analysts to collect their data in a coherent, efficient, valid, credible, and for future research connectable way.

Item Type: Thesis
Dissertation Type: Single
Date of Defense: 21 April 2020
Subjects: 600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations
Institute / Center: 03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Innovation Management
Depositing User: Hammer Igor
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2021 17:08
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2021 01:30

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