The Role of Innovation Portfolio Management in the Nexus between Deliberate and Emergent Innovation Strategies

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Conference Proceeding
21st International Product Development Management Conference (IPDMC), 2014, pp. 1 - 24 (24)
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Planning and implementing innovation strategies are typically considered to be top-down processes and innovation portfolio management plays a decisive role in this context by aligning the project portfolio to the firm’s strategy. However, in strategic management research it is well accepted that strategies are not solely deliberate but can also be emergent. Thus, between top-down innovation strategy formulation and its implementation, responding dialectic elements are required to sense emerging strategic impetuses and cope with changing environmental conditions. This paper addresses the role of portfolio management in the nexus between strategy formulation and implementation. Using a sample of 182 medium and large firms with two informants, we show that portfolio management not only fosters the implementation of intended innovation strategies through vertical integration but also discloses strategic opportunities by unveiling emerging patterns. The findings show that portfolio management contributes to innovation portfolio success by supporting both the implementation of deliberate and emergent strategies through vertical integration and strategic disclosure. The effects are complementary in that both activities increase the positive effects of the other. Furthermore we find that strategic control (i.e. premise control, implementation control, and strategic surveillance) on a portfolio level indirectly contributes to success mediated by vertical integration and strategic disclosure. Finally, we show that the influence of vertical integration on innovation portfolio success is reduced under high environmental turbulence.
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