Date of this version


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Corporate entrepreneurship, internal corporate ventures, autonomy, corporate venturing, venture performance


Historically, autonomy has been treated as a broad one-dimensional construct.

This paper proposes that there are two major types of autonomy for internal corporate ventures (ICVs)—planning autonomy and structural autonomy—and examines their respective impact on performance. Little prior knowledge exists regarding the autonomy–performance relationship for ICVs despite the billions of dollars of corporate investment in ICVs. In this study, I collect primary data on 38 ICVs at different stages of development from both venture-level and corporate-level managers from over a dozen companies in the U.S. Midwest. I find that a negative relationship exists for planning autonomy regardless of venture stage. However, for venture structural autonomy, a more complex relationship was discovered, which ranged from positive to negative to curvilinear based on the venture’s stage of development.

Published in

Journal Of Small Business Management

Citation/Other Information

Journal of Small Business Management 2012 50(3), 469-497

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.