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Designing R&D organisations in process industry: essays on context, process, and structure
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Industrial Organisation.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This doctoral thesis reports on a research project in R&D organisational design carried out at Promote - the Centre for Management of Innovation and Technology in Process Industry. The thesis itself consists of six appended papers and an extended summary covering the background of the project, the theoretical frameworks and methodologies used in studying R&D organisations in process industry, as well as a discussion of the research findings. This project aims at furthering the understanding of how intrafirm industrial R&D is organised in process industry through studying the context of innovation process industry and the organisation of innovation strategy formulation processes and intrafirm organisational structures for product and process innovation. The research project employed several different methodological approaches - including case studies in Swedish process industry firms, an industry wide survey, and a workshop survey consisting of a select group of R&D managers and industry experts. In studying the issue of context, a ranking of critical management of technology issues was composed through a survey of industry experts. The ranking proposes that the top issue is involvement of manufacturing in new product development and issues concerning integration of manufacturing in product development. Discrepancies concerning critical issues in regard to other manufacturing industries are also noted. In response to the issue of strategy formulation processes two opposing methodologies for innovation strategy formulation were studied. Findings from case studies suggest that the level of diversification, the characteristics of industry boundaries, customers, and competitors, and the role and organisation of R&D are key contingencies for choosing between innovation strategy processes either focusing on positions in the market or on internal resources. In response to the third question two different studies were carried out. One case study focuses on the centralisation versus decentralisation of product and process innovation. It suggests that a distinction between product and process innovation should be made and that the organisation of these depend on how the firm views these activities. The second study, an industry survey, looks closer at the organisational affiliation of process innovation. It determines that the degree of newness is a key determinant and that radical innovation will be organised in R&D while incremental innovation will be organised in production. Pros and cons concerning organisational choices are also discussed in light of these findings. Overall, the research project and the thesis stress the importance of context and how strategic choices should be reflected in the design of R&D organisations. Implications for management and academia are discussed and some avenues for further research are proposed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2007. , 115 p.
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544 ; 2007:48
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-26392Local ID: e0dc4b50-a000-11dc-ac39-000ea68e967bOAI: diva2:999554
Godkänd; 2007; 20071201 (ysko)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved

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