Engagement and Innovation: the Honda Case

7781 WordsDec 11, 201232 Pages
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0305-5728.htm VINE 39,4 Engagement and innovation: the Honda case 280 University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK, and Robert Paton Niru Karunaratne Received 25 June 2009 Revised 22 September 2009 Accepted 23 September 2009 Honda Motor Group, Ontario, Canada Abstract Purpose – Research and development (R&D) plays a significant role in creating and sustaining technological leadership. This paper aims to look at the extent to which R&D interventions stimulate innovation engagement. Design/methodology/approach – This paper examines, in the main, secondary data sources from Honda to assess the extent to which R&D-enabled plants…show more content…
An organisation’s innovative capacity is influenced by its ability to mobilise knowledge, technological skills and experience to create novelty in their product offerings, processes and services (Gassmann, 2006; IBM Global Business Services, 2006). Knowledge is the basis of innovation. However, the advantages associated with gaining an innovatory lead will be eroded over time. The question is not one of whether or not to innovate, but ¨ rather how to do so successfully and continuously (Droge et al., 1994; McEvily and Chakravarthy, 2002; Nonaka et al., 2003; IBM Global Business Services, 2006). There is increasing recognition that an R&D centric strategy may not be enough to maintain an innovation driven strategic advantage. To maintain an overall competitive edge the developed economies must build their futures on knowledge combined with technology and innovation (Chesbrough, 2005; Chesbrough et al., 2006; Miozzo and Walsh, 2006; Ichijo and Nonaka, 2007). A knowledge advantage promotes success by ensuring that emerging ideas, innovations and new products and services reach the market place (Tidd and Hull, 2003; Karmarkar, 2004). R&D must underpin knowledge creation and exploitation. This is especially so in leading edge manufacturing enterprises such as the case company Honda. However, it does not secure, on its own, economic well-being and

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