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A model of middle-level managers entrepreneurial behavior

A model of middle-level managers entrepreneurial behavior -...

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November, 2005 699 Middle-level managers’ entrepreneurial behavior is linked to successful corporate entre- preneurship. Herein, we integrate knowledge about corporate entrepreneurship and middle- level managers’ behaviors to develop and explore a conceptual model. The model depicts the organizational antecedents of middle-level managers’ entrepreneurial behavior, the entrepreneurial actions describing that behavior, and outcomes of that behavior as well as factors influencing its continuance. Following discussion of the model’s contents, we describe its potential value for researchers and those engaging in corporate entrepreneurship. Introduction “Virtually all organizations—new start-ups, major corporations, and alliances among global partners—are striving to exploit product-market opportunities through innovative and proactive behavior” (Dess, Lumpkin, & McGee, 1999, p. 85). Increasingly, organi- zations of many varieties view corporate entrepreneurship (CE) as a type of proactive behavior that can stimulate desired innovation. In an innovation context, effective CE facilitates the firm’s efforts to exploit its current competitive advantages and explore for tomorrow’s opportunities and the competencies required to successfully pursue them (Covin & Miles, 1999). Corporate entrepreneurship and the proactive, entrepreneurial behavior through which it is practiced is used in established organizations for a host of purposes in addition to innovation, including increased profitability (Vozikis, Bruton, Prasad, & Merikas, 1999; Zahra, 1993), strategic renewal (Guth & Ginsberg, 1990), gaining knowledge to develop future revenue streams (McGrath, Venkataraman, & MacMillan, 1994), international success (Birkinshaw, 1997), the effective configuration of resources as the pathway to developing competitive advantages (Borch, Huse, & Senneseth, 1999; Covin & Miles, 1999; Covin, Slevin, & Heeley, 2000), and as a separate identifiable strategy. However, it is important to note that CE is a matter of P T E & A Model of Middle- Level Managers’ Entrepreneurial Behavior Donald F. Kuratko R. Duane Ireland Jeffrey G. Covin Jeffrey S. Hornsby 1042-2587 Copyright 2005 by Baylor University Please send correspondence to: Donald F. Kuratko at [email protected]
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strategic choice (Ireland, Kuratko, & Covin, 2003). There is no a priori reason to predict that firms facing challenging environments will decide to pursue CE. By design and expe- rience, some firms are more entrepreneurially intense than others (Morris & Kuratko, 2002). In general, the greater the firm’s entrepreneurial intensity, the greater the proba- bility it will pursue CE. The literature regarding CE and managerial behaviors associated with its successful use continues to grow. The purpose of this work is to use the results of conceptual and empirical CE research to model the antecedents to middle-level managers’ entrepreneur- ial behavior, the behavior itself, and the outcomes resulting from it (see Figure 1). While all managerial behavior is critical to attaining CE success, we limit our analysis to the
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