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Title: Formal R&D management and strategic decision making in small firms in knowledge-intensive business services
Authors: Teirlinck, Peter ×
Spithoven, Andre #
Issue Date: 2013
Series Title: R&D Management vol:43 issue:1 pages:37-51
Abstract: Small R&D active firms in knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) can be characterised as technology experts in niche markets. Their reliance on expertise in one or a few key technology areas involves a continuous challenge to make strategic decisions in terms of future technology and market positioning. The formal management of R&D is considered an important part hereof. However, besides the fact that it is no common practice in about half of these companies little is known about formal R&D management in small firms in KIBS. This paper addresses this gap using a combined quantitative and qualitative research approach. The starting point for the descriptive quantitative empirical analysis is a representative sample of small R&D active firms in KIBS provided by the OECD business R&D survey for Belgium. The presence of formal R&D management is related to aspects of dynamic capabilities. The qualitative research is based on strategic choices in the innovation strategy in twelve purposively chosen small firms during the period 2005 -2011. It maps the evolution of the firm’s technology and market positioning within a setting adapted to small firms in KIBS, and highlights its relation with formal R&D management. The analysis reveals that formal R&D management in small firms in KIBS can be related to more complex linkages between internal innovation strengths and opportunities in the firm’s external environment. Moreover, formal R&D management in KIBS is found to be closely related to dynamics in strategic decision making in terms of market positioning and to innovation success. The influence of formal R&D management on the technology focus in small firms in KIBS turned out to be of minor importance.
ISSN: 0033-6807
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Department of Managerial Economics, Strategy and Innovation (MSI), Leuven
Research Centre for Globalization, Innovation and Competition, Campus Brussels (-)
Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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