As companies move from one stage of their cycle to the next, they often have to revamp their skills and build innovative capabilities to survive, achieve profitability, and stimulate growth. Corporate entrepreneurship (CE) activities give these firms a foundation for building and exploiting these capabilities. In turn, stimulating and sustaining CE requires the infusion of resources and new knowledge into the firm's operations, using multiple external sources. In this paper, we highlight the importance of boards of directors and absorptive capacity for gaining access to varied and current knowledge that enriches CE. We suggest that boards and absorptive capacity complement each other in fueling CE activities. Further, boards can sometimes substitute for poor absorptive capacity and vice versa, influencing the intensity of CE activities. Managing these complementarities (or substitutions) is crucial for sustaining CE initiatives and creating value from them.

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Keywords absorptive capacity, boards, capability, corporate entrepreneurship, knowledge-based theory
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusvent.2008.09.001, hdl.handle.net/1765/19624
Citation
Zahra, S.A, Filatotchev, I, & Wright, D.M. (2009). How do threshold firms sustain corporate entrepreneurship? The role of boards and absorptive capacity. Journal of Business Venturing: entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial finance, innovation and regional development, 24(3), 248–260. doi:10.1016/j.jbusvent.2008.09.001