Explorative and Exploitative Learning from External Corporate Ventures


  • We would like to acknowledge the financial support from The Research Programme for Advanced Technology Policy (ProACT) of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the National Technology Agency of Finland, Tekes. We are also grateful for the comments of two anonymous reviewers of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice

Henri A. Schildt at henri.schildt@hut.fi, to Markku V.J. Maula at markku.maula@hut.fi, and to Thomas Keilat tkeil@schulich.yorku.ca


This study examines the antecedents of explorative and exploitative learning of technological knowledge from external corporate ventures. We compare different forms of external corporate venturing, namely corporate venture capital investments, alliances, joint ventures, and acquisitions, as alternative avenues for interorganizational learning. Furthermore, we test the effects of multiple relational characteristics on the type of learning outcomes. Our empirical analysis is based on citations in patents filed by a sample of 110 largest U.S. public information and communications technology companies during the years 1992–2000. We find that corporate venturing mode and technological relatedness have significant effects on the likelihood of explorative learning.