Research and Development

The fifth major area of internal operations that should be examined for specific strengths and weaknesses as input into formulating strategies is research and development (R&D). Many firms today conduct no R&D, and yet many other companies depend on successful R&D activities for survival. Firms pursuing a product-development strategy especially need to have a strong R&D orientation. High-tech firms, such as Microsoft, spend a much larger proportion of their revenues on R&D. A key decision for many firms is whether to be a “first mover” or a “late follower” (i.e., spend heavily on R&D to be the first to develop radically new products, or spend less on R&D by imitating/duplicating/improving on products after rival firms ...

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