Capabilities for frequent innovation Managing the early project phases in the pharmaceutical R&D process

Detta är en avhandling från Umeå : Umeå School of Business

Sammanfattning: Despite their recognized significance for project success and innovation, the management of the early project phases is still an under-researched area in project management. For organizations to secure a continuous stream of innovation, the utilization of capabilities is crucial for managing the early phases of R&D projects.The purpose of this dissertation is to advance the understanding of the management of the early project phases in hypercompetitive environments. The thesis addresses the research question of how organizations manage the early project phases of R&D in hypercompetitive environments for frequent innovation by taking a dynamic capabilities perspective.The first conceptual study reviews the literature covering organizational change in hypercompetitive environments with a focus on projects as the vehicle to create the necessary flexibility. The study found that organizational aspects and capabilities have to go hand in hand as enabler and facilitator for a successful emergent change process.The second qualitative study investigates how organizations organize the early project phases of R&D in the pharmaceutical industry for an outcome of frequent innovation. The findings show that an optimization of combinative capabilities that balances dynamic, project and multi-project capabilities can be used as a powerful leverage to boost the outcome of frequent innovation.The third study investigates the philosophical stances and related methodologies used within the last 15 years of project management research at the example of IRNOP conferences. The findings show that ontological subjectivism and epistemological interpretivism are dominating. Moreover, case studies and qualitative methods were the most common methods, whereas mixed method studies were lacking despite their value for developing an increasingly complex research field.The final mixed method study explores how absorptive, innovative and adaptive capabilities within the early phases of pharmaceutical R&D affect project and portfolio performance. Based on the results of quantitative study, the set of capabilities has an overall effect on the set of performance outcomes and thus confirms the results of the qualitative study that a distinct capability mix is needed in the pharmaceutical R&D process.To conclude, the dissertation has comprehensively explored the management of the early project phases through four studies and by applying a multitude of methodologies.