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Corporate venture capital, disembodied experimentation and capability development


Keil, Thomas; Autio, Erkko; George, Gerard (2009). Corporate venture capital, disembodied experimentation and capability development. Journal of Management Studies, 45(8):1475-1505.

Abstract

Studies invoking a capabilities lens often ascribe deliberateness in organizational decisions to develop new capabilities. Drawing on five longitudinal case studies of large, global firms in the information and communication technology sector, we examine how firms engender cognizance of their future capability needs in situations characterized by high decision-making uncertainty. We develop a theoretical account of how firms use investments in start-ups to actively engage in experimentation outside organizational boundaries, a learning process which we term as disembodied experimentation. Disembodied experimentation creates awareness of voids in the capability base of an incumbent and helps to overcome inertial restraints thereby influencing the decision to invest in capability development. The relationship between learning from disembodied experimentation and the decision to develop capabilities is moderated by knowledge brokering functions and adaptation complexity.

Abstract

Studies invoking a capabilities lens often ascribe deliberateness in organizational decisions to develop new capabilities. Drawing on five longitudinal case studies of large, global firms in the information and communication technology sector, we examine how firms engender cognizance of their future capability needs in situations characterized by high decision-making uncertainty. We develop a theoretical account of how firms use investments in start-ups to actively engage in experimentation outside organizational boundaries, a learning process which we term as disembodied experimentation. Disembodied experimentation creates awareness of voids in the capability base of an incumbent and helps to overcome inertial restraints thereby influencing the decision to invest in capability development. The relationship between learning from disembodied experimentation and the decision to develop capabilities is moderated by knowledge brokering functions and adaptation complexity.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:20 Jun 2013 14:51
Last Modified:18 Feb 2018 01:01
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0022-2380
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2008.00806.x
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:8136

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