Exploratory Results on the Importance of R&D Knowledge Domains in Businesses with Different Strategies
A number of studies have described the consequences of the changing patterns in the business environment for R&D departments. Fewer studies have addressed the specific implications of the changing business environment for the agenda of R&D managers. Gupta and Wilemon (1996) have provided R&D managers with a priority list for action designed to be applicable to R&D departments independent of business strategy. However, a substantial body of literature suggests that the priority listing may be different for R&D departments in businesses with different strategies. Against this background this study sets out to determine whether the priority listing is different for Miles and Snow’s (1978) strategic archetypes of prospectors, analyzers, defenders and reactors. A total of 72 R&D managers of businesses competing in industrial markets in the Netherlands provided the data to test for the existence of these differences. The results indicate that the priority listings are indeed different for R&D departments in businesses with different strategies. This finding has important practical implications. The priority listings can be used by R&D managers to assess which R&D capabilities have to be developed in order to match R&D strategy with business strategy and meet the criteria for getting more commercial payback from R&D in a changing business environment.
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