Original Research

Corporate entrepreneurship - Distilling the concept

Colene Hind, Renier Steyn
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 7, No 1 | a7 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v7i1.7 | © 2015 The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
Submitted: 01 July 2015 | Published: 01 July 2015

About the author(s)

Colene Hind, UNISA
Renier Steyn,

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Background: Corporate entrepreneurship (CE) is credited for many positive organisational outcomes, including systemic growth and increased revenue. Several terms associated with CE, including strategic renewal, corporate venturing and intrapreneurship are frequently used interchangeably and often confuse scholars, researchers and practitioners. The lack of clarity about the exact meaning of these terms is detrimental to the synergy in the current body of knowledge and the development of models involving these concepts. Objective: The aim of this paper was to describe CE as a unique concept, distinguishable from related concepts. Methodology: Several definitions of CE as well as the related terms were dissected, to identify core elements associated with each of them. The validity of these comprehensive definitions was tested by requesting 68 master’s degree students to classify the definitions. Inter-rater reliabilities were calculated in order to assess the level of agreement in the classification of the constructs. Results: The results indicate that CE is difficult to distinguish from strategic renewal and corporate venturing, but that intrapreneurship seems to be better defined and separate from the other constructs. Conclusion: These results emphasise the conceptual confusion that exists around CE and the need for further clarification of terminology.


Corporate entrepreneurship, strategic renewal, corporate venturing, intrapreneurship.


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