Organizational Learning Through Corporate Accelerators: How Corporates Implement Entrepreneurial Knowledge

Lena Katharina Bödeker & Henrik Johannes Kalow

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


The rising emergence of corporate accelerators that involve partnerships between well- established corporations and entrepreneurial ventures have become a prominent trend across businesses throughout the world. As executives of well-established organizations have recognized that access to knowledge outside of the companies’ realm is necessary to foster innovation, corporate accelerators are regarded to constitute a promising source of external knowledge and, in turn, innovation. Nevertheless, many organizations are still experimenting with capturing value from these new business models as only few research has been carried out on this new business model. Therefore, the present thesis closes this research gap by analyzing how corporate accelerators can create value for their mother organizations and foster innovation through organizational learning. More concretely, the authors aim at finding which internal and external components provide the basis for enhancing organizational learning within organizations with specific attention given to the knowledge transfer process between the corporate accelerator and organization.
In order to arrive at these underlying components, the study employs a case study with the Airbus BizLab. The corporate accelerator of the international aircraft manufacturer Airbus. In doing so, the authors conducted eight in-depth interviews with multiple stakeholders including employees from Airbus, the corporate accelerator and the start-ups hosted in the BizLab. Drawing on the analysis of the findings based on the Gioia method, the authors arrive at a conceptual framework with three aggregate dimensions of organizational components, which include (1) human factors referring to the employees’ mindset, their learning attitude and willingness to change, (2) contextual factors relating to organizational structures, organizational culture and industry environment, and (3) methods encompassing novel approaches, communication and multiple touchpoints. One of the research’s main implications is that these components constitute both, enablers as well as barriers to organizational learning. While some of the components are considered to nurture knowledge transfer, especially structures and systems can have a strong impact on hindering this process. Furthermore, some components can be influenced more easily while others can only be impacted partially. Moreover, some components require a rather long-term approach to be changed while others can be impacted within a short time span.
Overall, the thesis contributes to the academic debate on corporate accelerators by drawing attention to the components which influence organizational learning through corporate accelerators. Additionally, it provides a basis for strategic decision-making of accelerator managers and other relevant stakeholders.

UddannelserCand.soc.oie Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider212
VejledereFrancesco Di Lorenzo