Organizing the early project phases for frequent innovation in hypercompetitive industries

University dissertation from Umeå : Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet

Abstract: This licentiate thesis contributes to the understanding of the early project phases and dynamic capabilities as key elements for frequent product innovation in the hypercompetitive pharmaceutical industry.The main purpose of the licentiate thesis is to investigate how organizations organize the early project phases of R&D in hypercompetitive environments for frequent innovation by utilizing a dynamic capabilities perspective.The licentiate thesis consists of two papers which explore the main purpose. The first paper is a conceptual paper reviewing the relevant literature in the chosen context, but also to highlight the important factors to consider for organizational change in hypercompetitive industries. The second paper investigates R&D projects in the hypercompetitive pharmaceutical industry. The pre-project activities and early project phases at the core of interest for facilitating frequent innovation due to their dynamics.-----------------Abstract Paper #1Hypercompetitive, that is, dynamic and unpredictable environments require flexible, innovative and creative organizations, which can easily adapt quickly to the changing rules of the competitive arena. Organizations therefore continuously need to change. The management of organizational change in such a merciless environment is together key and restraint. This paper reviews literature covering organisational change in hypercompetitive environments with a focus on projects as the vehicle to create the necessary flexibility. The challenge is thus to combine the need for long term sustainability with continuous flexibility in terms of how organizational and technological change efforts are designed and carried out. Organizations are well advised to develop a high degree of dynamic capabilities, which are at the core of meeting the tensions of the capability and structural challenge. The authors suggest that organizational aspects and capabilities have to go hand in hand as enabler and at the same time facilitator for a successful emergent change process in hypercompetitive industries.Keywords: Hypercompetition, organizational change, organizational design, organizational structure, change capabilities--------------Abstract Paper #2To be successful in today’s hypercompetitive marketplace a continuous flow of innovation is crucial. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how organizations organize the early project phases of R&D in the pharmaceutical industry for an outcome of frequent innovation. The author applies the dynamic capabilities concept as a starting point to explore the capabilities needed to master the crucial activities of research and development (R&D) projects as pathfinder for frequent innovation. The study is designed as qualitative multiple case study employing a template analysis for data interpretation. The investigation of the early project phases is pursued along four themes: (1) the role of business intelligence, (2) facilitating actions and innovation triggers, (3) transition phase between drug discovery and drug development, (4) resource re-allocation in the R&D pipeline. The analysis identified a standardized projectification of the pre-project phases, which leads to certain conflicts. This study shows a severe tension between the conflicting and interrelated dynamic, project and multi-project capabilities that hampers the frequent outcome of innovation in the pharmaceutical R&D. For this reason an optimization of combinative capabilities that balance the capabilities triumvirate can be seen as powerful leverage to boost the outcome of frequent innovation.Keywords: Combinative capabilities, dynamic capabilities, project capabilities, multi-project capabilities, innovation, pharmaceutical R&D

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