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An ontological approach to Corporate Entrepreneurship research

Universidade de Évora
Colégio Espírito Santo - Sala 124

20/11/2012 01:00 pm

Maria de Lurdes Calisto (Escola Superior de Hotelaria e Turismo do Estoril)

Resumo/Abstrat: Since the 1980’s a new area of entrepreneurship research has emerged, shifting the emphasis away from the individual entrepreneur to the entrepreneurial behavior of and within the firm. An entrepreneurial firm is continuously renewing itself and its markets, innovating, pioneering new products and willing to take risks. This behavior is not just the result of an individual effort from an entrepreneur but a collective one that requires an orientation towards innovation that permeates the entire organization.

The interest in firm-level entrepreneurship has been growing both within academia, with around 500 articles on the topic were published in peer-reviewed journals since 1983, as well as in the business community. However, the incongruence in the way researchers use the concepts and variables related to corporate entrepreneurship, as well as the expansion of the domain, makes reviewing the literature in the field not an easy task. Frequently different authors use different terminology to refer to similar constructs and though there has been effort from some researchers in the field to clarify terminology, there is no widespread use of those proposals. This is a relevant issue because it has implications on the delimitation of the phenomena corporate entrepreneurship refers to, and consequently on models used to study organizations and their entrepreneurship efforts resulting sometimes in fractioned views and contradictory results.

We propose a preliminary ontology for Corporate Entrepreneurship research that can be used to clarify the concepts in the domain thereby supporting the development of the field. An ontology can be defined as a formal explicit description of concepts in a domain and experts in that domain can use it to share information. Building an ontology is mostly concerned with identifying the relevant concepts in the domain and organizing them into a hierarchy.

The ontology we propose is part of a larger research where the main goals are to establish how a firm can become more entrepreneurial through employee behaviour; and, study in what way an appropriate organizational configuration can foster that behaviour. The assumption is that corporate entrepreneurship relies on the entrepreneurial behaviour of employees, which is a type of organizational behaviour and can be explained within the framework of organizational behaviour theories.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Corporate entrepreneurship; Ontology; Organizational Behavior

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