Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Simon C. Parker


The process of new venture creation continues to fascinate practitioners and academics alike for its widespread and fundamental impact on all market economies. New ventures contribute to the economy through the jobs they create and by enhancing productivity resulting in increased economic prosperity and growth. Such important contributions underline the considerable merit attributed to understanding the determinants and consequences of new venture creation. There is little disagreement that personal, organizational, opportunity, cultural, institutional factors, etc. influence the creation of new ventures. The challenge remains to determine which factors have what kind of influence on new venture creation.

In this thesis I propose a differentiating analysis of the venturing mode of business starters – as nascent entrepreneurs (NEs) or as nascent intrapreneurs (NIs, or corporate entrepreneurs). NEs try to create a new venture by themselves. NIs attempt the same for their employer. In this thesis I offer three complementary essays that jointly address the question: How do nascent intrapreneurs and nascent entrepreneurs differ from each other?

In my first essay I develop the Individual-Opportunity-Organization Nexus. I explore individual, opportunity, and organizational influences on the choice of new venture creation mode. My research propositions employ variables traditionally used to inform the general start-up decision, to inform the venture mode choice.

Essay two analyzes the impact of start-up motivations on the venture mode choice. We develop a two-stage theoretical framework based on individual motivations. We employ a bi-variate probit model with sample selection, which shows that some start-up motivations affect the self-selection into nascent venturing in general and others affect the organizational selection mechanisms of intrapreneurs.

In essay three I compare the start-up and abandonment rates of NIs and NEs. Using series of multinomial logit models, I demonstrate that NIs, compared to NEs, have a reduced likelihood of quitting in the first 45 months of developing their nascent venture. There was no evidence of one group being faster in bringing their nascent venture to market.

In combination, the three essays explain why and how nascent intrapreneurs and nascent entrepreneurs differ from each other. Future research needs to distinguish between these two groups.