Re-inventing corporate innovation through incubation. The VINCI Leonard case study

Abstract : While incubation has long been found to foster innovativeness, corporate incubation offers new possibilities of interaction and cooperation among peers from within and outside the firm, as well as the firm-backed acceleration of new ventures. However, the surge in practical implementations contrasts with the restricted body of academic knowledge in the field. To close this gap, we examine whether and how the competitive setting of corporate incubation leads to both corporate endogenous and exogeneous innovativeness and growth. We explore the innovation capability management of a corporate incubator-Leonard-within VINCI, a global construction and concession company. We analyze a dataset collected during the incubation program spanning 18 months, tracing the evolution paths of 30 internal and external ventures through their incubation journey. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods is used to analyze the corporate incubator role on the firm strategy and performance. Findings suggest that corporate incubators can act as flexible innovation vehicles serving the firm top management in complementary ways. We propose a multidimensional framework for assessing the incubator performance that reflects the benefits for a range of strategic, managerial and operational stakeholders. Four distinct performance dimensions emerge: the (1) financial, (2) market, (3) ecosystem, and (4) foundational dimensions, whose importance varies through time and according to the nature and characteristics of the incubated ventures. We discuss how these dimensions coexist during a corporate venture's selection, incubation and growth, and identify future research directions.
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Pierrick Bouffaron, Benoit Weil, Pascal Le Masson, Cédric Denis-Remis. Re-inventing corporate innovation through incubation. The VINCI Leonard case study. R&D Management Conference 2019, Jun 2019, Paris, France. ⟨hal-02321451⟩

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