Abstract

Despite the centrality of selection issues to internal venturing programs’ outcomes, knowledge on how funding decisions are made in the development process of new corporate ventures is limited. The nature of the selection process itself is ambiguous. In this study we conceptualize initiative selection as a multistage and differentiated process entailing regular go/no-go decisions and increased resource commitment at different initiative development phases. We argue that, as ventures mature in their technical and commercial aspects, the nature of the related perceived risks and uncertainties evolves as well. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that also the determinants of initiative selection vary between different development stages. To uncover potential stage-based differences, we examine the influence of specific venture-related (strategic alignment, novelty, expected time to deployment, early involvement of deployment partners) and human capital characteristics (proponent and sponsor success experience, sponsor tenure) on the transition of earlystage initiatives through different selection gates. Our predictions are based on the integration of traditional behavioural, resource-based and cognitive arguments with the real options reasoning.

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