General Introduction

The objective of this book is to determine the ways of organizing, managing and leading the research and development (R&D) of a company. This General Introduction presents the book’s aim, the issues associated with the R&D function and its management and the relevance of writing a book on the subject. First, we discuss the scope of this book in terms of types of organizations, business activities and issues, as identified by the authors. Second, we try to provide answers to key questions on R&D and innovation management by addressing the wider target audience of this book. Finally, the structure of this book is presented with a summary of the six chapters that cover many of the critical contemporary issues in the field of R&D and innovation management.

I.1. Managing R&D and innovation: current and critical issues

The current phase is marked by the increasingly strategic nature of innovation, particularly technological innovation, which has become central for developing not only competitive advantage of the company but also a crucial condition for the survival of businesses. Companies must continuously innovate, often and more quickly. Innovation results in new products that are completely different from the previous ones, and allows to offer a wide range of products to customers. One of the main reasons to innovate is to meet the expectations of customer renewal and to cope with the rapid outdating of products due to technological progress and competitors’ ...

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