Corporate Entrepreneurship

In today’s dynamic and global environments, being innovative and acting entrepreneurially is a key to success not only for small and new firms, but also for large organizations that look back on a long corporate history. Yet, staying entrepreneurial over the life time of an organization is challenging and many large and mature firms fail to keep pace with innovation and new product development. Therefore, an important research stream investigates what existing firms can do to maintain their entrepreneurial spirit over time.

One goal of our research is therefore to understand how organizational environments impact the decision making and behavior of employees and managers, and we have published theoretical and empirical articles addressing this issue. For example, a recently published theoretical paper (Shepherd, Patzelt & Haynie, 2010) proposed the existence of “entrepreneurial spirals” – deviation amplifying loops of an entrepreneurial mindset and an entrepreneurial organizational culture. Further, our research has analyzed how organizational incentive systems motivate corporate employees to act entrepreneurially (Monsen et al., 2010), and how organizations can learn from their failure experiences (Shepherd, Patzelt & Wolfe, 2011). We have also explored the impact of failures on employees' negative emotions (Shepherd, Haynie & Patzelt, 2013; Shepherd, Patzelt, Williams & Warnecke, 2014). Finally, our work has recently developed a multi-level model of corporate entrepreneurship managers' project termination decisions (Behrens & Patzelt, forthcoming).


Behrens, J., & Patzelt, H. (forthcoming). Corporate entrepreneurship managers´ project terminations: Integrating portfolio-level, individual-level, and firm-level effects. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice.

Shepherd, D. A., Patzelt, H., Williams, T. A., & Warnecke, D. (2014). How does project termination impact project team members? Rapid termination, ‘Creeping Death’, and learning from failure. Journal of Management Studies, 51, 513-546.

Shepherd, D., Haynie, J., & Patzelt, H. (2013). Project failures arising from corporate entrepreneurship: Impact of multiple project failures on employees’ accumulated emotions, learning, and motivation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 30 (5), 880-895.

Shepherd, D. A., Patzelt, H., & Wolfe, M. (2011). Moving forward from project failure: Negative emotions, affective commitment, and learning from experience. Academy of Management Journal, 54 (6), 1229-125.

Shepherd, D., Patzelt, H., & Haynie, J. (2010). Entrepreneurial spirals and their trajectories: Deviation amplifying loops of an entrepreneurial mindset and organizational culture. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 34 (1), 59-82.

Monsen, E., Patzelt, H., & Saxton, T. (2010). Beyond simple utility: Incentive design and trade-offs for corporate employee-entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 34 (1), 105-130.