Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module BUSI3171: Corporate Entrepreneurship

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI3171: Corporate Entrepreneurship

Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham


  • None


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Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • This module develops comprehensive understanding of how mid-to-large sized firms can be designed, organised and managed to establish corporate entrepreneurship, with careful scrutiny of the complexities involved.
  • To provide students with knowledge, and develop their understanding of, the multi-level, integrated nature of corporate entrepreneurship.
  • To introduce students to the historical and present day context for corporate entrepreneurship.
  • To provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the various inputs, processes, boundary conditions and forms of corporate entrepreneurship by way of a detailed review and critique of its theoretical frameworks.
  • To develop in-depth knowledge and appreciation of how to organise an internal environment conducive to corporate entrepreneurship. To develop an understanding of the human aspect of corporate entrepreneurship.
  • To develop an understanding of the organizational processes and activities that impact on corporate entrepreneurship.
  • To comprehend organisational, agency and ownership barriers to successful corporate entrepreneurship.
  • To evaluate ways to profitably realise investments in corporate entrepreneurship.
  • An on-going review of the conceptual and empirical work relating to the relationship between corporate entrepreneurship and various organizational outcomes.
  • An international element will permeate the module.


  • The historical and present day context for corporate entrepreneurship: External environment change, competition and internal stimuli.
  • Theoretical frameworks of corporate entrepreneurship: Mapping its inputs, processes and outputs.
  • The role of human capital in interpreting external and internal stimuli to corporate opportunity identification, evaluation and exploitation.
  • Organising an internal environment to stimulate corporate entrepreneurship by changing and aligning structure, processes and people.
  • Internal corporate venture capital, incubators and disruptive units as novel ways to organise for corporate entrepreneurship.
  • Top management vision and corporate entrepreneurship.
  • Changing and overcoming organisational culture as a barrier to corporate entrepreneurship.
  • Resource structuring, bundling and leveraging to generate corporate entrepreneurship outcomes.
  • Mergers and acquisitions as resource pathways to corporate entrepreneurship.
  • Organizational learning processes and managing ambidexterity between exploration and exploitation across different levels of the firm.
  • Innovation management processes and corporate entrepreneurship.
  • Corporate restructuring to spark corporate entrepreneurship.
  • Managing corporate restructuring towards corporate entrepreneurship.
  • Buy-outs as a form of corporate entrepreneurship.
  • Boards and corporate governance as a [dis]incentive for corporate entrepreneurship.
  • Executive compensation and its impact on corporate entrepreneurial activity.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • This module develops comprehensive subject-specific knowledge with respect to:
  • The internal and external incentives and barriers to corporate entrepreneurship.
  • Theoretical frameworks to diagnose the status of a firm for corporate entrepreneurship, and to plan organisational change to establish and maintain corporate entrepreneurship.
  • The features of structure, process, people, leadership and culture needed to establish and maintain corporate entrepreneurship.
  • Aligning organisational structure, processes and people, and the fundamental role of top managers and leaders therein.
  • The emerging relationship between entrepreneurship and strategic management.
  • The management of resources and capabilities in pursuit of corporate entrepreneurship.
  • The management of organisational learning and the broader problem of ambidexterity between explorative and exploitative activities to achieve corporate entrepreneurship.
  • Reconciling typically rigid processes on innovation management with corporate entrepreneurship.
  • The challenges top management face in terms of governance, shareholders, agency and ownership agendas in pursuing a corporate entrepreneurship strategy, and solutions to these challenges.
  • The means to realise value from corporate entrepreneurship investments.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • This module develops:
  • A detailed appreciation of theories, models and frameworks to understand corporate entrepreneurship as well as the actions required to secure superior corporate entrepreneurship outcomes.
  • Critical analysis capabilities to diagnose the status of firms for corporate entrepreneurship, and develop appropriate plans and implementation actions to achieve, maintain and sustain corporate entrepreneurship.
  • The capacity to make informed decisions about inputs, processes and activities relevant to generating corporate entrepreneurship outcomes.
Key Skills:
  • This module develops:
  • The cognitive skills of critical thinking, analysis and synthesis, including the ability to identify assumptions, evaluate statements in terms of evidence, to detect false logic or reasoning, and to define terms adequately and to generalise appropriately.
  • The ability to apply ideas and knowledge to resolve problems pertaining to corporate entrepreneurship.
  • Library (electronic and hard copy) research skills by researching appropriate journals, databases, publications, websites, books and other reference material.
  • Synthesis of data by bringing together relevant information to present as coherent evidence and arguments.
  • The ability to apply theories, frameworks and models to problems and phenomena relating to corporate entrepreneurship.
  • The ability to conduct research into entrepreneurship, including a familiarity with a range of research resources, to reach appropriate conclusions.
  • Effective written communication skills.
  • Effective self-management in terms of time, planning and goal completion.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching is by way of lectures, research-led content, case studies, real-life examples and seminars. Learning takes place through attendance at lectures, preparation for and participation in seminar classes, and private study. Throughout the module, careful attention will be paid to grounding the discussion of relevant theory and academic content in practice through cases, real-life examples and scenarios. Classes will also accommodate questioning, discussion, short exercises and debate. Active participation is encouraged. Formative assessment is by means of a written assignment. Summative assessment is by means of a written examination.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 21 1 per week 1 hour 21
Seminars 8 4 in Term 1 and 4 in Term 2 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 171
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written exam 2 hours 30 minutes 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Students develop a 1000 word written assignment in the form of a discursive essay with respect to the summative assessment.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University