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How Corporate Entrepreneurs Learn from Fledgling Innovation Initiatives: Cognition and the Development of a Termination Script

24 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2007  

Andrew Corbett

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) - Lally School of Management & Technology

Heidi M. Neck

Babson College - Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

Dawn R. DeTienne

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - College of Business; Utah State University

Abstract

Through a parallel examination of literatures on new product development termination and entrepreneurial cognition, this study explores a specific form of human capital development: learning from failure. Specifically we advance the literature on entrepreneurial human capital by linking cognitive scripts used by corporate entrepreneurs in project termination decisions to corresponding levels of learning. Our longitudinal investigation of technology-based firms suggests that corporate entrepreneurs use three types of termination scripts: (1) undisciplined termination, (2) strategic termination, and (3) innovation drift. We illustrate the presence of each script and analyze learning implications during innovation projects (action learning) and after termination (post-performance learning). Based on our analysis we suggest that organizational learning is dependent upon the type of termination script individuals employ.

Suggested Citation

Corbett, Andrew and Neck, Heidi M. and DeTienne, Dawn R., How Corporate Entrepreneurs Learn from Fledgling Innovation Initiatives: Cognition and the Development of a Termination Script. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 31, No. 6, pp. 829-852, November 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1020432 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6520.2007.00208.x

Andrew C. Corbett (Contact Author)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) - Lally School of Management & Technology ( email )

110 8th St
Troy, NY 12180
United States

Heidi M. Neck

Babson College - Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship ( email )

231 Forest Street
Babson Park, MA 02457-0310
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www3.babson.edu/Academics/faculty/hneck.cfm

Dawn R. DeTienne

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - College of Business ( email )

Fort Collins, CO 80523
United States

Utah State University

Logan, UT 84322
United States

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