The purpose of this paper is to gain a deeper understanding of how companies integrate their innovation and operations processes. Referring to the dynamic capability approach, the authors derive an “integration capability” construct from a set of qualitative data. The authors expand this concept stressing the specific role of management control as a crucial part of an integration capability to align the different processes.
Case studies in eight German industrial and service companies were conducted and qualitative material was analysed guided by a grounded theory approach.
The paper aims at exploring a specific dynamic capability in order to integrate innovation and operations processes. Based on a qualitative study of eight cases, three distinctive categories are derived describing the construct of an integration capability: organization, communication, and management control. Furthermore, influencing factors which lead to different levels of intensity of integration are described.
Comparing the findings with existing research on integration capabilities fosters and expands knowledge on the construct “integration capability”. Effective coordination and communication based on efficient and structured processes seem to be crucial elements of integration capabilities. The paper expands the literature on the role of technology in integration capability which plays a major role in organizing effective coordination and communication.
Management control culture contributes to the present design of control systems of every company studied. Starting point for the design of control systems in research departments is the standard of management control in operations management. Therefore, it is assumed that higher control intensities in operational units will lead to higher control intensities in R&D departments.
In turbulent market environments, companies need to set up organizational processes which effectively coordinate and deploy internal and external resources. These dynamic capabilities are crucial to gain a sustainable competitive advantage. Until now, research on integration capabilities has lacked an analysis of the role of management control; with the empirical findings, this paper shows how management control improves integration capability.
Brühl, R., Horch, N. and Osann, M. (2010), "Improving integration capabilities with management control", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 385-408. https://doi.org/10.1108/14601061011086267Download as .RIS
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