Examines how major firms utilize R&D activities to create new businesses through internal corporate venturing (ICV). Using a qualitative method, this analysis was done for one large, U.S.-based high-technology firm. This firm has a new venture division, which was formed in the early 1970s. Data were obtained from the study of six major projects that were ongoing at the time of the research. This data collection included interviews with 61 firm employees involved in the projects. The key and peripheral managerial activities of the grounded process model of ICV and the flow of these activities through four venture stages are presented. The four major processes in the model are definition, impetus, strategic context determination, and structural context determination.
Among the findings: It is usually the autonomous strategic initiatives of individuals at the operational level that provide the ideas for much of corporate entrepreneurship. As a result of the very autonomous nature of these initiatives, management has difficulty deciding how to deal with the new initiatives and often ignores administrative issues through the entrepreneurial process. Middle-level managers are found to play a key role in linking these autonomous initiatives to the corporate strategy of these diversified major firms. (SRD)