Sub-theme 33: Entrepreneurship in and around Organizations

Ha Hoang
ESSEC Business School, France
Markus Perkmann
Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Dean A. Shepherd
University of Notre Dame, USA

Call for Papers

Entrepreneurship has become a key topic in both scholarly discussion and society at large. While the focus of discussion and ambition has often been on start-ups, in reality entrepreneurship often occurs from within existing organizations or in close association (Sørensen & Fassiotto, 2011). Understanding how established organizations enable and shape entrepreneurial activity, encompassing the formation of new ventures and transitions from an organizational role to venture founder, is therefore the focus of growing interest (Burton et al., 2016; Hoang & Gimeno, 2010; Dobrev & Barnett, 2005).
The interaction between existing organizations and entrepreneurial activity touches upon a variety of themes. First, many entrepreneurs begin as employees in an organization, raising the question regarding the impact of entrepreneurship on the organization and also how organizations manage founding activity in more or less constructive ways (Campbell et al., 2012). Second, more recently many organizations have formally embraced entrepreneurial methods to stimulate innovation. They have built accelerators, innovation labs and other entities that use approaches akin to independent entrepreneurship to spur intraorganizational innovation (Cohen, Bingham & Hallen, 2019). Third, established organizations interact with start-up organizations with varying degrees of intensity, from arms-length collaborations to full-scale integration into the organizational mainstream. Fourth, many private and public organizations have been embracing considerations corporate social responsibility and environmental, social and governance goals, and entrepreneurship is seen as one of the tools to achieve these goals, often around a particular social impact theme (Tracey & Stott, 2016).
Possible topics for submission include:

  • What are the structures of workplaces and social relations that channel resources, rewards, and opportunities within organizations that facilitate or stymie “disciplined imagination” and entrepreneurial activity (Shepherd & Trenton, 2018; Kacperczyk, 2012)? Why are some organizations able to tap into and exploit the imagination of its worker while others have a difficult time doing so?

  • Why and how do different patterns emerge in the transition from an organizational role to the role of founder and venture team member - including hybrid roles that combine elements of both?

  • What impact does intraorganizational entrepreneurial activity have on organizations? (Fini, Perkmann & Ross, 2021)? What are the different ways in which organizations may facilitate employee entrepreneurship, and co-evolve with newly founded spin-outs and spin-offs?

  • How are social ventures formed within organizations and focused on solving specific social problems? How does this differ across for-profit, not-for-profit and public sector organizations. Why are some internal social ventures more effective than others in terms of social impact and other outcomes consistent with the organization’s strategy?

  • Incubators, accelerators and labs are often promoted as a panacea for new venture creation (Tracey et al., 2018). But we know relatively little about how these organizations form, the experiences of entrepreneurs who belong to them, or their effectiveness in supporting entrepreneurship.

  • The creation of new ventures from inside established organizations raises critical questions with respect to culture, identity and identification (Lounsbury et al., 2018). How does the parent organization influence the goals, norms and values of the new venture? How do new ventures position themselves strategically in relation to the parent organizations? And how do entrepreneurs manage identification tensions when transitioning from an established organization to a new venture?

  • How start-up propositions are integrated (or not) into the organizational mainstream, given that new ventures often pose challenges to parent or sponsor organizations as their propositions may clash with established managerial cognitions and operating routines.

  • The institutional pressures experienced by new ventures when created from inside established organizations, and how these differ from new ventures created independently.

  • How does promoting entrepreneurship and innovation within organizations enhance workers’ emotional and psychological well-being? Given the autonomy typically associated with working in an entrepreneurial organization, how do people use that autonomy to craft their job to enjoy the good life of work and what are the organizational implications of crafting and workers enjoying the “good life at work”?

  • Successful entrepreneurs often desire to leave a legacy. What are these specific legacy-related objectives, where do they come from, and what role does the parent organization play with respect to legacy achievement?

  • Sometimes organizations and their employees suffer from negative events. How can organizations redeploy their norms, routines, and systems typically used for innovation-based activities in compassion organizing to alleviate employees’ suffering?

  • Are entrepreneurial organizations more resilient to external shocks (including disaster, economic disruptions, and so)? What resources, capabilities, and organizing provide the strongest basis for resilience to adverse events?

We welcome diverse theoretical perspectives, including papers that draw on organizational theory, strategy, sociology, social psychology, and economics. We are open to a range of methods, both quantitative and qualitative, and are particularly interested in studies that incorporate novel data, mixed methods, and span multiple levels of analysis to enrich the empirical base of research in this area.


  • Burton, M.D., Sørensen, J.B., & Dobrev, S.D. (2016): “A careers perspective on entrepreneurship.” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 40 (2), 237–247.
  • Campbell, B.A., Ganco, M., Franco, A.M., & Agarwal, R. (2012): “Who leaves, where to, and why worry? Employee mobility, entrepreneurship and effects on source firm performance.” Strategic Management Journal, 33 (1), 65–87.
  • Cohen, S.L., Bingham, C.B., & Hallen, B.L. (2019): “The Role of Accelerator Designs in Mitigating Bounded Rationality in New Ventures.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 64 (4), 810–854.
  • Dobrev, S.D., & Barnett, W.P. (2005): “Organizational roles and transition to entrepreneurship.” Academy of Management Journal, 48 (3), 433–449.
  • Fini, R., Perkmann, M., & Ross, J.M. (2021): “Attention to Exploration: The Effect of Academic Entrepreneurship on the Production of Scientific Knowledge.” Organization Science, 33 (2), 688–715.
  • Hoang, H., & Gimeno, J. (2010): “Becoming a founder: How founder role identity affects entrepreneurial transitions and persistence in founding.” Journal of Business Venturing, 25 (1), 41–53.
  • Kacperczyk, A.J. (2012): “Opportunity structures in established firms: Entrepreneurship versus intrapreneurship in mutual funds.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 57 (3), 484–521.
  • Lounsbury, M., Cornelissen, J., Granqvist, N., & Grodal, S. (2018): “Culture, innovation and entrepreneurship.” Innovation, Organization and Entrepreneurship, 2 (1), 1–12.
  • Shepherd, D.A., & Williams, T.A. (2018): “Hitting rock bottom after job loss: Bouncing back to create a new positive work identity.” Academy of Management Review, 43 (1), 28–49.
  • Sørensen, J.B., & Fassiotto, M.A. (2011): “Organizations as fonts of entrepreneurship.” Organization Science, 22 (5), 1322–1331.
  • Tracey, P., & Stott, N. (2017): “Social innovation: a window on alternative ways of organizing and innovating.” Innovation: Organization and Management, 19 (1), 51–60.
  • Tracey, P., Dalpiaz, E., & Phillips, N. (2018): “Fish out of water: translation, legitimation and new venture creation.” Academy of Management Journal, 61 (5), 1627–1666.
Ha Hoang is Professor of Management at ESSEC Business School, France. Her research interests focus on strategic alliances including entrant-incumbent collaborations, employee entrepreneurship, and founder role identity in the entrepreneurial process. Ha’s work has appeared in journals such ‘Academy of Management Journal’, ‘Administrative Science Quarterly’, and ‘Strategic Management Journal’. She currently serves as a senior editor at ‘Organization Studies’.
Markus Perkmann is Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Imperial College London, UK, and Director of the Imperial Enterprise Lab. He is interested in employee, corporate and academic entrepreneurship, social valuation, and the process and structure of public science. His work has been published in the ‘Academy of Management Journal’, ‘Organization Science’, ‘Research Policy’, among others. Markus is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of ‘Innovation: Organization & Management’.
Dean A. Shepherd is the Ray and Milann Siegfried Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame, USA. His research and teaching is in the field of entrepreneurship; he investigates the decision making involved in leveraging cognitive and other resources to act on opportunities, respond with resilience to adversity, and learn from experimentation (including failure). Dean has published papers primarily in the top entrepreneurship, general management, strategic management, operations management, and psychology journals and has written (or edited) over 20 books.