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R&D team governance and R&D performance: Empirical evidence from Chinese software enterprises

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Purpose ‐ With the clarification of three effective methods (share holding, decision participation and promotion of technical grade) to govern R&D teams in software enterprises, the purpose of this paper is to provide an empirical investigation of the application of these methods in Chinese software enterprises. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The research is based on a quantitative approach with 34 items designed in the questionnaire to measure the indicators. All items were rated by respondents on a five-point Likert-type scale. In order to testify the validity of the three methods of R&D team governance, a correlation analysis and a linear regression were made to examine the relationship between these methods of R&D team governance and R&D performance. Findings ‐ The evidence shows that decision participation and promotion of technical grades are the two most effective methods to govern R&D teams in Chinese software enterprises, while share holding is not conducive to R&D performance. The share holding level of R&D staffs is fairly low; even "no share." What is more important is that many software enterprises regard it as a welfare institution but not an incentive method. Therefore, the shareholding mechanism cannot enhance R&D performance. In addition, relevant regulations have not been established completely. There are many deficiencies in the process of intellectual property management of Chinese enterprises. These factors have hindered the effective performance of R&D staff. Practical implications ‐ The research findings emphasize the importance of governance of R&D teams in the Chinese software industry and highlight the critical issues that need to be addressed in order to enhance the performance of R&D staff. Originality/value ‐ The concept of R&D team governance is examined and elaborated within the context of China, which points to the need of developing new direction of R&D team management.
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Keywords: China; Computer software; Governance; Research and development; Team management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 20 February 2007

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