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Short leash or long leash? Parenting style, initial strategic clarity, and the development of venture learning proficiency

J. Covin D. Kuratko D. A. Shepherd
Journal of Business Venturing. August 9, 2019

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Corporate venture development suggests that internal corporate ventures (ICVs) must become proficient learners if they are to cope successfully with the uncertainty inherent to their operations. Accordingly, the parent corporations in which ICVs operate are challenged to identify and enact appropriate parenting styles that foster their ICVs’ learning proficiency. The current research of 145 ICVs in 72 corporations builds on parenting theory to theorize that ICVs demonstrate the greatest learning proficiency when corporate parents give them a “leash length”—indicated via observed levels of top management support and operational decision-making autonomy—depending on the degree of strategic clarity under which the ICV was founded.