Corporate entrepreneurship: a systematic literature review and future research agenda

David Urbano*, Andreu Turro, Mike Wright, Shaker Zahra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review


Plain English Summary This review analyzes the articles published in the corporate entrepreneurship field and presents the future research agenda. Research agrees that corporate entrepreneurship has a positive impact on firms' profits and growth. This has generated an increase in the number of research articles published in this area. However, previous literature has some limitations and areas that should be further explored. First, there are many different definitions and terms to refer to corporate entrepreneurship activities. This makes it difficult to understand the current state of corporate entrepreneurship research. Second, we lack up to date comprehensive literature reviews summarizing the knowledge and advances generated in the field in the last years. Overall, the objective of this research is to explore the content and evolution of corporate entrepreneurship research. This research contributes by summarizing and synthesizing the main findings in previous literature. It also contributes by identifying relevant inconsistencies and ambiguities in previous literature that have prevented the development of certain areas within the corporate entrepreneurship field.

This article analyzes the state of the art of the research on corporate entrepreneurship, develops a conceptual framework that connects its antecedents and consequences, and offers an agenda for future research. We review 310 papers published in entrepreneurship and management journals, providing an assessment of the current state of research and, subsequently, we suggest research avenues in three different areas: corporate entrepreneurship antecedents, dimensions and consequences. Even though a significant part of the overall corporate entrepreneurship literature has appeared in the last decade, most literature reviews were published earlier. These reviews typically cover a single dimension of the corporate entrepreneurship phenomenon and, therefore, do not provide a global perspective on the existing literature. In addition, corporate entrepreneurship has been studied from different fields and there are different approaches and definitions to it. This limits our understanding of accumulated knowledge in this area and hampers the development of further research. Our review addresses these shortcomings, providing a roadmap for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalSmall business economics (Print)
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2022


  • Bibliometrics
  • Corporate entrepreneurship
  • Corporate venturing
  • Intrapreneurship
  • Strategic renewal
  • Systematic literature review


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