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Edited by Giovanni Battista Dagnino
Chapter 13: Innovation and Technology Management in Competitive Strategy Research
Bruno Cassiman and Maria Chiara Di Guardo INTRODUCTION How to achieve competitive advantage is the fundamental question of strategic management and the key to a successful entrepreneurship. The issue has been studied extensively but still provides a challenging topic for both scholars and managers. In times when technology constantly generates new business opportunities and markets rapidly reach new horizons, firms scramble to follow the pace, searching the most fruitful strategic moves to gain advantage over their competitors. Unfortunately, when facing the impressive rise in competition over recent decades (D’Aveni, 1994), as well as an increased pace of technological change (Iansiti, 1995), the traditional sources of competitive advantage (Brown and Eisenhardt, 1995) seem to no longer provide longterm security and firms are turning to innovation as a new lever to drive their growth and preserve their market share. As Brown and Eisenhardt (1995: 344) point out, “[innovation] is among the essential processes for success, survival and renewal of organizations, particularly for firms in either fast-paced or competitive markets”. Nowadays there seems almost a general consensus on how innovation may positively affect firm performance (Porter and Stern, 2001). Too often, however, it is presented as the panacea for all ills while new findings are clearly showing that investing in R&D and innovation by itself cannot suffice to reach success. Particularly illuminating is a recent study by Booz, Allen and Hamilton, on the 1000 publicly held companies from around the world with the highest budgets for research and development (Global Innovation 1000)...
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