Exploration and Exploitation Strategies in Industrial R&D

11 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2005

See all articles by Fabrizio Cesaroni

Fabrizio Cesaroni

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna - Istituto di Management; Carlos III University, Madrid

Alberto Di Minin

Istituto di Management - Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna; BRIE - University of California, Berkeley

Andrea Piccaluga

Universita di Lecce - Facolta di Economia

Abstract

This paper discusses four types of strategic decisions in technology management in established firms. We argue that more attention, both from a theoretical and an empirical perspective, should be paid to the strategic solutions which are implemented as a consequence of such decisions, as well as to the various types of interactions between strategic decisions and organizational solutions in industrial R&D. Here we apply management concepts derived from the industrial dynamics literature to R&D, and use a theoretical framework to describe and analyse four case studies concerning the largest R&D centres of Italian firms operating in different industrial sectors (telecommunications, automotive, communication and cables, and semiconductors). The different approaches that those private R&D centres have chosen in their recent past are compared and discussed. We analyse the patterns of exploration, technology transfer and commercialization that industrial R&D labs have adopted in order to combine short-term objectives of exploitation of research results and competencies, and long-term goals of exploration of new technological trajectories, based upon the use of two dimensions: first, the type of technological change, and second the control of complementary assets and the existence of a dominant design. We argue that the interpretation of the four case studies can represent a useful basis for discussion among R&D managers as well as innovation and technology management scholars.

Suggested Citation

Cesaroni, Fabrizio and Di Minin, Alberto and Piccaluga, Andrea, Exploration and Exploitation Strategies in Industrial R&D. Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 222-232, September 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=796307

Fabrizio Cesaroni (Contact Author)

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna - Istituto di Management ( email )

Piazza Martiri della Libertà, 33
I-56127 Pisa, 56100
Italy

Carlos III University, Madrid ( email )

Calle Madrid, 126
Getafe, Madrid 28903
Spain

Alberto Di Minin

Istituto di Management - Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna ( email )

Piazza Martiri della Liberta 33
MaIn Lab
Pisa, PI 56127
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.diminin.it

BRIE - University of California, Berkeley ( email )

2234 Piedmont Ave
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Andrea Piccaluga

Universita di Lecce - Facolta di Economia ( email )

Ecotekne
Via per Monteroni
73100 Lecce
Italy

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