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Training corporate entrepreneurs: an action learning approach

Abstract

Although training and development is recognized as an important means to nurture corporate entrepreneurs in organizations, extant research has focused primarily on efforts to develop entrepreneurial leaders and nurture business creation in a school or university setting. We report on the findings of an inductive case study of corporate entrepreneurship training in a large multinational corporation. We explore the learning outcomes which participants experienced, and outline how an action learning approach enabled these learning outcomes. Our emergent model of corporate entrepreneurship training is based on an episodic view of training, recognizing that individual, group and situational influences, need to be considered if a more complete understanding of what makes for effective training in this domain is to be developed.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Also called ‘intrapreneurship training’(Kuratko and Montagno 1989; Thornberry 2003).

  2. 2.

    Looking to research on entrepreneurship education and training more generally, we can see that there are three broad types of human capital assets which may emerge from such interventions: entrepreneurial knowledge and skills, positive perceptions of entrepreneurship and intentions to start a business (Martin et al. 2012). In our proposed definition, we group perceptions and intentions under the broader umbrella term of ‘attitudes’.

  3. 3.

    Sometimes referred to as intrapreneurs here for variety.

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Correspondence to Janice Byrne.

Appendix 1: Overview of interview respondents

Appendix 1: Overview of interview respondents

No. Name Program role Job description Intake Gender Nationality Training team
1 Pierre Participant R&D Unit Manager, France DIP #15 M French 1
2 Margo Participant Investment Process Manager, Poland DIP #15 F Polish 1
3 Olivier H Participant Business Planning Manager, International Business Development, UK DIP #15 M French 3
4 Olivier W Participant Head of Marketing Specifications, Innovation Centre, France DIP #15 M French 3
5 Raz Participant Director Network Solutions and Performance, Belgium DIP #15 M Romanian 3
6 Radu Participant Fixed Services Factory Manager, Romania DIP #15 M Romanian 4
7 Aurelio Participant Corporate SW Factory Director, Spain DIP #15 M Spanish 4
8 Maysa Participant Senior manager, Telesales and Support DIP #16 F Egyptian n/a
9 Boris Participant Product Marketing Manager DIP #16 M French n/a
10 Fabio Participant Director, International Business Development, UK DIP #16 M Italian n/a
11 Sebastian Participant R&D Business Development, France DIP #16 M French n/a
12 Anne Valerie Participant (Former) Senior Communications Manager, FreCo DIP #10 M French n/a
13 Nicolas Participant Marketing Manager, France DIP #17 M French n/a
14 Paul Program designer and facilitator Consultant, Executive Education Trainer, Facilitator DIP #1-20 M American n/a
15 Stephane Program design and evaluation Senior FreCo HR Manager DIP #4-20 M French n/a
16 Veronique Facilitator Lecturer, Consultant, Executive Education Trainer, CE Expert DIP #3-20 F Canadian n/a
17 Dan Program designer and facilitator Lecturer, Consultant, Executive Education Trainer DIP #1-20 M American n/a

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Byrne, J., Delmar, F., Fayolle, A. et al. Training corporate entrepreneurs: an action learning approach. Small Bus Econ 47, 479–506 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-016-9734-9

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Keywords

  • Corporate entrepreneurs
  • Training
  • Education
  • Action learning
  • Case study

JEL Classifications

  • L26
  • M53
  • O31
  • I2