A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING THE ORGANISATION OF THE R&D FUNCTION: AN EMPIRICAL ILLUSTRATION FROM THE CHEMICAL AND PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY
The increasing importance of innovation for companies, mergers and acquisitions, and the strengthening of project structures are leading to numerous rationalisations in the organisation of the research function. Although few works have analysed company R&D organisation and its impact on innovation performance, we elaborate on the concepts of economy of scope and absorptive capacity, introduced to compare the efficiency of various firms' R&D, so as to analyse the organisation of R&D departments. We focus on inter-project learning and argue that it must be viewed as an organisational question. "Organising by problem" constitutes a new means of cross-project learning and of enhancing absorptive capacity.
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