Accelerators, identities and identifications : exploring tensions and unintended consequences for entrepreneurs in established organizations

Stephan, Anika (School of Management Fribourg, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) ; Bubenzer, Philipp (School of Management Fribourg, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland)

In view of the success of accelerator programs such as the Y Combinator and many others, established organizations like Siemens, ING, Telefonica and numerous others have begun to establish their own in-house accelerators as a favored approach to foster innovative renewal and to bind entrepreneurial members to the organization. While prior work on corporate accelerators has explored differences in accelerator structures and processes, we explore how being embedded in the context of an established organization creates particular tensions and challenges. More specifically, we argue that in-house corporate accelerators and their projects represent new organizational entities with their own identities, which may be perceived and experienced as quite distinct from the established organization. Members may thus cognitively uncouple the accelerator from the organization and possibly identify more with their accelerator projects than to the established organization. Thus, in spite of the current enthusiasm for corporate accelerators, it is unclear whether they have unambiguously positive effects. Preliminary insights from an in-house accelerator of a leading automotive company indicate that these tensions may indeed lead to important unintended consequences in terms of lower organizational identification among its members. Successfully running a corporate accelerator may thus require a better understanding and conscious management of organizational and project identification dynamics.

Note: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the 36th EGOS Colloquium venue in Hamburg was cancelled. The proceedings of the online conference are however published according to the original schedule.

Conference Type:
full paper
Economie et Services
Aucun institut
Hamburg, Germany, 2–4 July 2020
Hamburg, Germany
2–4 July 2020
21 p.
Published in:
Proceedings of the 36th EGOS Colloquium
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Note: The status of this file is: restricted

 Record created 2020-07-28, last modified 2020-10-27

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