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Top Management Compositional Effects on Corporate Entrepreneurship: The Moderating Role of Perceived Technological Uncertainty


  • Ciaran Heavey,

  • Zeki Simsek

Address correspondence to: Ciaran Heavey, Quinn School of Business, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland. E-mail:


Because corporate entrepreneurship (CE) is central to firms' ability to compete, adapt, and perform in increasingly turbulent environments, there is a great interest in understanding its origins. To date, prior studies have overwhelmingly focused on the architectural factors—the structures, cultures, resources, and incentives—that shape entrepreneurial processes within organizations and the environmental conditions that stimulate entrepreneurial activity. However, some researchers have recently begun to argue that the requirements and challenges of CE fall most saliently on the shoulders of the firm's top management team. Focusing on various aspects of top managers' activities, roles, and processes, this line of research demonstrates the enabling role of top management teams in their firm's pursuit of CE. We extend this research by examining the impact of top management team composition in terms of human capital and social capital on CE. Additionally, because external environment perceptions within top teams shape their sociopolitical process and framing of the issues facing their firms, we submit that a team's level of perceived technological uncertainty moderates the impact of the team's human and social capital on CE. We find support for these arguments using multisource data from a sample of 99 high-technology firms. The discussion finally traces the implications of our theory and findings for research and managerial understanding on CE.

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