Three configurations of corporate innovation programs and their interplay

Michael Kötting (Universität Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany)
Andreas Kuckertz (Universität Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Publication date: 24 June 2019



The success of corporate innovation is based less upon the success of a single innovation program than on a holistic and overarching corporate innovation system integrating various activities. Taking this perspective, the purpose of this paper is to extend existing research on the design of innovation programs.


Utilizing an inductive theory-building case study approach, this study provides a detailed analysis of how one of the largest and most successful German technology companies structures its many innovation activities.


The analysis identifies key elements of innovation programs and suggests three configurations that illustrate how these generic elements can be structured so as to offer the best fit with the underlying logic of the respective innovation program. Furthermore, this study highlights how the identified configurations come together to deliver overarching strategic innovation goals.


Existing research too often focuses solely on single innovation programs. The current research is among the first to take a holistic and overarching perspective, considering different innovation programs within a single company and analyzing their configuration and their interplay.



Kötting, M. and Kuckertz, A. (2019), "Three configurations of corporate innovation programs and their interplay", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

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