R&D-marketing integration in innovation - does culture matter?

Fain, Nusa and Wagner, Beverly (2014) R&D-marketing integration in innovation - does culture matter? European Business Review, 26 (2). pp. 169-187. ISSN 0955-534X

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Abstract

This paper takes an exploratory approach towards understanding the applicability of established theoretical frameworks for cross-functional integration in different global environments. In particular, the role of culture is considered as its impact on organizations may affect the ability to create a global generic model for cross-functional integration in product development. In order to achieve this aim, the paper will explore two cases from different cultural environments, namely that of Slovenia and the UK. The authors compare two different companies, based on their case profile and cultural background. Both are heavy engineering companies involved in product development, one originating in the developing economy of Slovenia, the other from the developed UK economy. The authors have employed a mix methodology, including literature and documentation analysis, questionnaire surveys and interviews. Combining organizational climate and consequently informal cooperation with formal organizational schemes, when allowing moderate levels of authority, can be beneficial for NPD success and R&D-marketing integration. These findings confirm the theoretical principles of Gupta et al., but are to some extent actually directly connected to NPD success, rather than to the R&D-marketing interface. The framework might be valid when exploring a large sample of companies at national levels, but needs further specifications and expansion when employed in a single case company. Furthermore, the two studied cases show that special care needs to be placed on taking account of cultural differences, when employing NPD in different locations/international business units. The paper presents a case comparison of cross-functional integration in two different cultural contexts. From this exploratory research, the main contribution highlights the key role of cultural context in developing effective cross-functional interfaces in product development.