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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2009

Markus E. Bergfors and Andreas Larsson

The purpose of this paper is to open up the research and development (R&D) organisation by separating product and process innovation and exploring these activities in terms of the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to open up the research and development (R&D) organisation by separating product and process innovation and exploring these activities in terms of the structural variable of centralisation versus decentralisation.

Design/methodology/approach

Case studies of three multinational firms, representing food and beverage, mining and minerals, and pulp and paper industry.

Findings

Dual structures may exist within the R&D organisation, one for product innovation and one for process innovation. Consequently, it is suggested that the conventional notion of R&D organisational design, equating R&D more or less with product innovation, does not present a complete picture for many firms.

Research limitations/implications

Opening up the R&D organisation will help further the understanding link between the organisational structuring of product and process innovation, and the efforts of organisations to develop resources and competitive advantages.

Practical implications

The findings have implications for managing the strategy‐organizational fit concerning innovation in process industry.

Originality/value

The conventional view regarding R&D as a single entity – either centralised or decentralised – does not present a complete picture. This paper clarifies the link between strategic innovation determinants and the organisational configuration of R&D.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

Keywords

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