Quality Management (QM) principles have left their marks on business practice for more than a decade. Amongst the many business functions that have faced the widespread introduction of QM standards and methodologies, the R&D function has been amongst the last to undergo their pervasive influence. The uncertain and ambiguous nature of the technical innovation process, most present during the conceptual and problem-solving (often R&D intensive) stages, has provided many arguments not to introduce "traditional" QM approaches in R&D settings. These arguments are often based on a rather rigid and mechanistic view on QM. As recent insights show, this need not be the case. QM can offer an avenue to fundamentally scrutinize and re-think cross-functional integration strategies in innovative contexts. Therefore, the process of introducing QM principles in an R&D environment deserves close attention. This paper offers a field-based insight into these fundamental organizational and managerial issues.
URL (Wiley Online Library)
Quality management (QM), R&D, Technical innovation
|Authors||Debackere, Koenraad (Dept of Applied Economics, Catholic University Leuven, Belgium), Van Looy, Bart (Service Management Centre, De Vlerick School of Managment, Gent University, Belgium), Vliegen, Jan (Mining Union R&D)|
|Publisher:||Blackwell Publishers Ltd|
|Keywords:||Quality management (QM), R&D, Technical innovation|