Background of the Study
Innovation in the business world is currently perceived as the primary approach that is used by organisations to remain competitive. Innovation can be viewed in different forms, including the use of innovative tools and technologies, the adoption of innovative strategies, and the adjustment of innovation to the communication with customers among others forms. All these approaches to developing innovation are based on the implementation of innovation projects, and they are directly related to the field of project management. As the focus on innovation became the global trend, the success in adopting innovative approaches can depend on the business leaders’ strategies and tools (Ritson, Johansen & Osborne 2012). Therefore, it is necessary to examine how the corporate strategy as one of the main factors influencing organisational development can influence the businesses’ adoption of innovation. The problem is in the fact that innovation is often discussed separately as part of the strategy or project management, and the impact of the corporate strategy on the businesses’ innovation is also discussed in another field. As a result, it is important to examine the relationship between corporate strategy and innovation in the project management context to analyse the issue in detail. The purpose of this research is to study different corporate strategies influencing innovation in organisations that also utilise project management tools.
The research question that needs to be answered in the study is the following one: What impact do different corporate strategies have on innovation in the context of managing projects that can contribute to the businesses’ adoption of innovation?
From this point, it is important to focus on the elements of different corporate strategies that can contribute to adopting innovation and be associated with project management in terms of realising innovation projects.
The objectives of the research that are associated with the formulated research question are the following ones:
- To compare different corporate strategies in terms of their impact on innovation.
- To analyse the realisation of innovation and innovation projects that are influenced by corporate strategies.
- To determine the relationship between the corporate strategy and innovation with the focus on the project management field.
In spite of the fact that many studies are discussing how innovation can influence business development and strategy, the number of articles discussing the role of corporate strategy in developing innovation is limited. Moreover, there are also a few studies presenting the discussion of corporate strategy and innovation in the context of project management. It is important to state that while orienting to the global trends, companies begin to develop their corporate strategies to contribute to the adoption of technological innovation to address the issue of market competition (Brook & Pagnanelli 2014). According to Turner, Ledwith, and Kelly (2012), the corporate strategy can be internal and external in its direction, and those companies that choose the external strategy are more inclined to promote innovation as they are focused on increasing their competitiveness. To make the business more profitable and competitive, companies can choose to implement the organisational change and realise it through a range of innovation projects (Turner, Ledwith & Kelly 2012). Brook and Pagnanelli (2014) also note that the focus on adopting the innovation in the company usually leads to the development of innovation projects. In their turn, Unger, Rank, and Gemunden (2014) agree that the corporate strategy based on the idea of constant change is most effective in adopting the idea of innovation. As a result, the promotion of innovative ideas is usually associated with project management.
Different types of projects can be developed to promote innovation in the organisation. Turner et al. (2012) refer not only to traditional innovation projects but also to the projects implemented in operations, customer relations, and supply chains. In their research, Unger et al. (2012) discuss the situations when projects that are oriented to increasing the competitive advantage of the firm and promoting its innovation can be realised ineffectively, and one of the causes of these failures can be the specific corporate strategy followed by the leaders. Brook and Pagnanelli (2014) also mentioned how the project management related to the adoption of innovation can be developed in the organisation; however, the discussion of the role of the corporate strategy is rather limited in this study.
In contrast to the previously discussed articles, Kilic et al. (2015) focused on the analysis of the direct relationship between the corporate strategies and their elements and the innovation in the organisation. However, this study does not relate the discussion of innovation adoption to project management or the realisation of innovation projects. More attention is paid to the field of project management and the dependence of innovation on corporate strategy in the work written by Ritson, Johansen, and Osborne (2012). The researchers discussed how the specific business strategy can influence the adoption of different programmes that support innovation and can further lead to the organisation’s success. The reviewed studies explore only several aspects of the topic under discussion, but they do not provide the complex analysis of how the corporate strategy can influence innovation, and how this process is related to the sphere of project management in general, and the development of innovation projects in particular. Therefore, it is possible to state that there is a gap in the literature on project management in relation to discussing how the corporate strategy can influence innovation as the business’s perspective and approach with the focus on the elements of the project management.
To conduct the research and provide the answers to the formulated question, it is important to collect both qualitative and quantitative data on the corporate strategies that are followed by different organisations and on their progress in terms of innovation and development of project management. Therefore, the approach of the case study can be relevant to be selected for this research. While utilising the case study approach, it is important to focus on the corporate strategies that are used in five organisations in the chosen business sector. Thus, while conducting the case studies, the qualitative and quantitative data on the corporate strategy, innovation, project management, and innovation projects development can be collected with the help of examining the administrative documents and reports, conducting interviews with managers and employees, and analysing the available data on the companies’ adoption of innovation. This approach is effective to provide complete information on the researched issue.
Brook, J & Pagnanelli, F 2014, ‘Integrating sustainability into innovation project portfolio management – a strategic perspective’, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 46-62.
Kilic, K, Ulusoy, G, Gunday, G & Alpkan, L 2015, ‘Innovativeness, operations priorities and corporate performance: an analysis based on a taxonomy of innovativeness’, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 115-133.
Ritson, G, Johansen, E & Osborne, A 2012, ‘Successful programs wanted: exploring the impact of alignment’, Project Management Journal, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 21-36.
Turner, R, Ledwith, A & Kelly, J 2012, ‘Project management in small to medium-sized enterprises: tailoring the practices to the size of company’, Management Decision, vol. 50, no. 5, pp. 942-957.
Unger, B, Kock, A, Gemunden, H & Jonas, D 2012, ‘Enforcing strategic fit of project portfolios by project termination: an empirical study on senior management involvement’, International Journal of Project Management, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 675-685.
Unger, B, Rank, J & Gemunden, H 2014, ‘Corporate innovation culture and dimensions of project portfolio success: the moderating role of national culture’, Project Management Journal, vol. 45, no. 6, pp. 38-57.