Internal corporate ventures (ICVs) (Burgelman, 1983), are important for organizational renewal and strategic innovation. Yet, ICVs differ widely in their performance and there is much less convergence on how to improve their contributions to organizations. Our aim is to contribute to this discussion in two ways. First we investigate how different types of domain specific experience (entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial) affect the individual performance in corporate venturing by differentiating successful and unsuccessful venturing attempts. Previous studies focused on binary (ICV activity or not) variables without the ability to differentiate performance outcomes. Second, we analyze how knowledge about the organization and autonomy in decision making moderate the relationship between domain specific work experiences and venturing performance.

We derive testable hypotheses against the background of human capital and knowledge transfer literatures (Becker, 1965; Tsai, 2001). We extend the arguments that domain specific knowledge is hard to transfer (Hansen, 1999) and that increased complexity of knowledge puts increased demands on professional networks (Hansen 1999). Understanding the ICV task as distinct from the independent entrepreneurial development of a new venture, we argue that the respective domain specific experience acquired in either domain might not be easily transferable to the other.