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Corporate Entrepreneurship

Course code
Course type
MSc Course
Weekly Hours
FS 2023
Prof. Dr. Dries Faems, Prof. Dr. Christoph Hienerth
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.

Course Content

This course aims to provide students an in-depth understanding of corporate entrepreneurship. During the course, the students will receive advanced insights in tools, processes and strategies that corporates can apply to stimulate entrepreneurial thinking and action. We discuss both internal and external dimensions of corporate entrepreneurship.

Learning objectives

Students will be stimulated to apply and reflect on academically grounded tools and insights on the topic of corporate entrepreneurship. By means of group assignments, students will be challenged to apply these insights in a particular setting.

Date Time
Wednesday, 11.01.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 19.01.2023 11:30 - 15:15
Wednesday, 25.01.2023 11:30 - 15:15
Wednesday, 01.02.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Wednesday, 08.02.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Monday, 13.02.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 16.02.2023 17:15 - 18:45
Tuesday, 21.02.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Week 1: Introduction to the course and introduction to the topic of corporate venturing (Jan 11: 8.00 – 11.30)In week one we will set the scene for this course. We will provide: • An overview of the course and the assignments• An overview of the topic of corporate venturing • Guest lecture on core challenges of corporate venturing: TBA Week 2: Imitating startups: Internal corporate venturing: (Jan 19: 11.30 – 15.15)In week 2, we will:• Discuss options that corporates have to engage in internal corporate venturing• Discuss the phenomenon of innovation theater and how companies can avoid it• Guest lecture on how to avoid innovation theater: TBAObligatory preparation material:Burgelman, R.A. (1983) A process model of internal corporate venturing in the diversified major firm. Administrative Science Quarterly, 28(2): 223-244Listen to the following podcasts: https://mostawesomepodcast.com/andybinns/https://podcasts.apple.com/de/podcast/ep-22-decoding-innovation-theater-with-steve-blank/id1476975219?i=1000505152539Week 3: Investing in startups: Accelerators and Corporate Venture Capital (Jan 25: 11.30 – 15.15)In week two we will provide:• Discuss options that corporates have to invest in startups• Discuss the tension between strategic and financial objectives when investing in startups• Guest lecture on managing corporate venture capital• Introduction to first group assignmentObligatory preparation material:Dushnitsky, G & Lenox, M.J. (2006) When does corporate venture capital investment create firm value? Journal of Business VenturingWeek 4: Collaborating with startups: Open innovation strategies (Feb 1: 8.00 – 11.15)In week four, we will provide: • An overview of the specifics of open innovation strategies• Their implications for the structure and organization of corporates• Insights on open innovation and crowdsourcing• Examples of large German corporates and their open innovation projects• Guest lecture: TBAObligatory preparation material:West, J., & Bogers, M. (2014). Leveraging external sources of innovation: a review of research on open innovation. Journal of product innovation management, 31(4), 814-831.Week 5: How to make effective decisions in corporate innovation and venturing (Feb 8: 8.00 – 11.15)In week five, we will provide: • In-depth insights into decision making processes• Decision errors type I and II• Guest lecturers: TBAObligatory preparation material:Csaszar, F. A. (2018). Limits to the wisdom of the crowd in idea selection. In Organization Design. Emerald Publishing Limited.Further reading for your interest (content will be covered in class):Csaszar, F. A., & Eggers, J. P. (2013). Organizational decision making: An information aggregation view. Management Science, 59(10), 2257-2277.Week 6: Introduction to final individual assignment and guest speakers (Feb 13: 8.00 – 11.15)In week 6, we will:• Introduce the final individual assignment• Guest lecture on venture building
Lectures, guest lectures, group assignments, individual assignment
Group assignments: 70%

Individual assignment: 30%

150 study hours
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