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Deriving requirements for the organizational structure of corporate incubators

: Schuh, G.; Lau, F.; Dyba, C.; Vogt, F.


Kocaoglu, Dundar F. (Ed.) ; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-; Portland State University, Dept. of Engineering and Technology Management:
PICMET 2018, Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology. Proceedings : Managing technological entrepreneurship: the engine for economic growth; August 19 - 23, 2018, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-890843-38-0
ISBN: 978-1-890843-37-3
ISBN: 978-1-5386-7719-3
Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET) <2018, Honolulu/Hawaii>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPT ()

As conventional R&D often fails at achieving radical innovation in the context of increasingly uncertain environments, corporate incubators are established to provide a separate development path for innovation. Startup teams are integrated or internal projects teams are provided with office space, independence and resources. Corporate incubators have become a promising solution for companies that aim at achieving structural ambidexterity, i.e. organizational ambidexterity that is embedded in corporate structure. While the current business practice shows that many different configurations of corporate incubators exist, the underlying requirements remain unclear. This paper therefore addresses the research gap by deriving a model describing the requirements for the organizational structure of corporate incubators. The authors draw from organization theory in order to derive requirement dimensions. Then, current literature on ambidexterity research is used to infer requirement parameters for each requirement dimension. From a practitioner's perspective, the developed model allows a systematic planning process that helps achieving a consistent configuration of corporate incubators, which reduces failure rates. From an academic perspective, the proposed model elaborates on the organizational requirements that underlie structural ambidexterity strategies.