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Critical capabilities for effective management of complementarity between product and process innovation: Cases from the food and drink industry

Dusana Hullova, Christopher Don Simms, Paul Trott and Pavel Laczko

Research Policy, 2019, vol. 48, issue 1, 339-354

Abstract: The management of the complementarity between product and process innovation has been discussed for five decades. The most recent advancement in the conceptual development uncovered different extents of complementarities occurring between product and process innovation at the project level. Prior literature suggested that facilitating a better interplay between these two types of innovation holds the potential for the development of a long-lasting competitive advantage. Despite its theoretical and managerial importance, management of new product and process development (NPPD) projects with different extents of complementarity between product and process innovation remains poorly understood. To address this gap, we adopt perspectives from contingency theory and dynamic capabilities. Building upon Hullova, Trott and Simms’s (2016) classification of complementarities we investigate the management of different complementarity types in four NPPD projects in the UK food and drink industry. We introduce empirically derived framework for effective management of NPPD projects with different extents of complementarity between product and process innovation. The framework identifies three critical capabilities and associated activities; 1) identifying the complexity and novelty of the project and assessment of internal and external resources and knowledge stocks, 2) deploying the most suitable integration mechanism(s) for the identified complementarity type and 3) leveraging of the knowledge learned and experience acquired during the project. Jointly, these three intertwined capabilities act as a complementarity management tool for product and process development managers, enabling them to manage their NPPD projects portfolios more effectively.

Keywords: Complementarity; Product innovation; Process innovation; Management innovation; NPPD project; Dynamic capabilities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:respol:v:48:y:2019:i:1:p:339-354

DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2018.09.001

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