The Performance of Innovation: Managerial Roles

by Alan Frohman



Research and development (R&D) differs from marketing, and production in an industrial organization in a number of ways. Lack of recognition of these differences has resulted in many businessmen's not appreciating the value of activities that are essential for an effective R&D organization. While numerous schemes and categorizations have been applied to the various activities in the innovation process, they identify a number of issues, like, information gathering, analyzing and idea generating, championing and demonstrating, and implementation. Characteristic signs provide evidence when these managerial roles are not being performed adequately. A technical organization carried out an analysis of itself using the managerial roles concept. The analysis consisted of identification of the balance it desired to have among the roles, identification of existing strengths in each role, and identification of the factors supporting and inhibiting the performance of each role. The results of the analysis and the action steps that were taken are described in the article.

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