Corporate Entrepreneurship Course

Examination of the application of entrepreneurship concepts and behaviors within established organizations, assessment of factors contributing to a company’s entrepreneurial orientation, and identification of ways to foster higher levels of entrepreneurship within firms.

Video Transcript

Welcome to Corporate Entrepreneurship. In this class, we’ll be addressing three main questions that are really important to think about as you’re growing your business. Number one is how can firms maintain their entrepreneurial spirit. Number two, how do firms keep growing over time? And, fundamentally, number three, why do some firms perform better than others? And we will address these from different perspectives related to people, process, and strategy. What you’re going to see is we’re going to have a number of cases and industries in context to be able to understand what works best in different environments. Now, when people think of entrepreneurship, they think about startups. This is not a course about startups; it’s about big businesses and being the best in the world. In many of these ideas and concepts we’ll talk about, we are going to challenge the advice and thinking from other management courses, because now you can be thinking like an entrepreneur, not like a manager. So you should take this course if you’re interested in becoming an executive and manager and a business leader in an established company who wants to be among the best in the world. It’s also useful for you if you’re a founder of a growing company that’s young or a small business that wants to maintain an upwards trajectory.

We’re going to have a heavy focus, of course, on best practice, and the reasons are multiple. Number one, we’re going to learn from the best. If we’re going learn about corporate entrepreneurship and being the best, we have to look at the best to figure out how to do this. We’re also getting ideas and inspiration. These provide input and developing your own perspective and your customizable approach to making it work for you. So, the third reason is you’re going to learn to take into consideration different constraints, different people, different aspects of what you’re doing, to allow you to focus on being the best. And we’re going to take the perspective of the top-level and managerial approaches to allow you to think about how you can be a corporate entrepreneurial manager and corporate entrepreneurial leader. It’s all the problems or all the issues that you can be facing but rather can be focused on developing the thing that works best for you given your specific conditions.

My name is Alex McKelvie. I was interested in innovation growth and company performance for some time and I recognized early on that entrepreneurship was the key to driving sustainable corporate performance. I teach widely and publish quite a bit in terms of research on innovation growth, corporate entrepreneurship, and family business management. My research has profiled in magazines such as Forbes, Inc., and Businessweek as well as a number of different academic outlets. I’ve worked in different countries. I grew up in Canada, lived in Sweden for eight years, and now I live in Syracuse. Over that time, I’ve been exposed to a number of different ways of dealing with these issues through my work with startups, incubators, high-potential technology companies as well as in an innovative subsidiary. I’m now also in a managerial role as a chair of the entrepreneurship program at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. On the personal side, I have two young boys; I love to play with them. I’m also interested in fantasy football and hockey. I’m Canadian after all.

There are five goals for this course. Number one is being able to recognize the importance of corporate entrepreneurship for successful organizational performance. Number two is develop a deeper understanding of the various ways companies organize to promote corporate entrepreneurship as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. Number three, you are going to identify creative ways to overcome obstacles to entrepreneurship in established companies in order to act like a startup but in the context of an established business. Number four, you’re going to recognize the importance of human resource management and the role of people as part of the corporate entrepreneurial process. Lastly, you’ll assess how a firm can adopt its own approach to corporate entrepreneurship given its environment, goals, resources, and strategies. Welcome to Corporate Entrepreneurship.