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Top Management Support and Initial Strategic Assets: A Dependency Model for Internal Corporate Venture Performance


  • Robert P. Garrett Jr.,

  • Donald O. Neubaum

Address correspondence to: Robert P. Garrett, Jr., College of Business, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331. E-mail: Tel: 541-737-6049. Fax: 541-737-4890.


Internal corporate venturing is frequently used by established companies desiring to innovate and grow. These ventures, however, often fail, and previous research has revealed surprisingly little about the antecedents to performance for this strategically important phenomenon. Using resource dependence theory and the resource-based view, a model is developed wherein the positive relationship between top management support and the internal corporate venture's (ICV) initial strategic asset endowment is moderated by the amount of the venture's operations autonomy. We then argue how top management support, the venture's initial strategic asset endowment, and parent-venture product similarity are related to ICV performance. Primary data were collected from 72 firms which furnished data on 145 ICVs. The results suggest that increases in the level of support provided by top management leads to higher levels of initial strategic assets endowed in the corporate venture. This relationship, however, is weakened the more corporate parents give their ICVs operations autonomy. Further, top management's support of the corporate venture, as well as the level of initial strategic assets endowed to the venture, increases the subsequent performance of the ICV. The performance benefit of these initial strategic assets, however, is lower the more there is an overlap between the parent's and the venture's products.