AN EXPLORATORY STUDY ON R&D PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT PRACTICES: A SURVEY OF ITALIAN R&D-INTENSIVE FIRMS
Although measuring the performance of a firm's R&D activities is a very challenging task, the critical role played by R&D in creating and sustaining a firm's competitive advantage has raised the need to adopt appropriate performance measurement systems (PMSs) in R&D units. Therefore, management scholars have been studying this issue and PMSs have diffused in the R&D departments of most R&D-intensive companies. Nevertheless, empirical investigations into the diffusion and practical use of PMSs in R&D units mainly concern Anglo-Saxon countries, where R&D information disclosure requirements have been in place for a long time. The purpose of this paper is to study the diffusion and practical use of PMSs in the R&D units of firms that are not subject to these types of external institutional influences. With this aim, the results of a survey on the R&D performance measurement practices adopted by a sample of Italian R&D-intensive firms are discussed. They allow to understand why and how R&D-intensive companies design and use a PMS in their R&D units for managerial purposes.
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