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Profiles of Product Innovators Among Large U.S. Manufacturers

Author

Listed:
  • Noel Capon

    (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027)

  • John U. Farley

    (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104)

  • Donald R. Lehmann

    (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027)

  • James M. Hulbert

    (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027)

Abstract

This paper identifies four groups among 113 Fortune 500 manufacturers that approach innovation quite differently. The groups are based on 27 measured elements of corporate environment, corporate strategy, and formal and informal organization. Both product innovation and financial performance differ significantly over the groups, and a group of 42 firms that invest heavily in innovation perform best financially. A smaller group of firms that are not innovative but which follow a strategy of acquisition perform nearly as well financially. Firms focusing research resources on process innovation perform poorly, although process research complements product research among the effective innovators. Particularly important for explaining both product innovation and financial performance of these firms are salient combinations of classic elements of good environment, good strategy and good organization---strong positions in growing markets, investment in research and development, open and creative organizational structures and supportive organizational climates.

Suggested Citation

  • Noel Capon & John U. Farley & Donald R. Lehmann & James M. Hulbert, 1992. "Profiles of Product Innovators Among Large U.S. Manufacturers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(2), pages 157-169, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:38:y:1992:i:2:p:157-169
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.38.2.157
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