Title: Corporate entrepreneurship and small firms growth

Authors: Joao J.M. Ferreira

Addresses: Department of Management and Economics, University of Beira Interior, Estrada do Sineiro, Polo IV, 6200 209 Covilha, Portugal

Abstract: Corporate Entrepreneurship (CE) is a growing area of research. Despite the growing interest in CE, there appears to be nothing near a consensus on what it is. The contributions of entrepreneurship and strategic management literature suggest the viability of integrating theoretical and empirical findings as means to better understand the conditions and relationships that are associated with CE. This study aims to identify the dimensions that may reflect the practice, the process, the organisational methods, and the style of decision making that small firms use. It has a particular interest in approaching the CE and the growth of small firms, having in mind the definition of a coherent theoretical framework of reference, which will lead to a broader understanding of the entrepreneurial process of small firms and verify the effects of those dimensions on growth. An empirical study was developed based on a stratified sample of Portuguese small firms from the manufacturing industry. The results suggest that dimensions of Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO), life cycle, resources and capabilities, motivation, and environment have an effect on the growth of small firms. It is still possible to conclude that the CE has, in fact, an important role because firms that grow better have the tendency to develop an EO.

Keywords: corporate entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial orientation; life cycles; resources; capabilities; environment; business growth; strategic management; organisational methods; decision making; Portugal; manufacturing industry; motivation; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; entrepreneurs; intrapreneurship; intrapreneurs; intrapreneuriality.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2010.033574

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2010 Vol.10 No.3, pp.386 - 409

Published online: 06 Jun 2010 *

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