From Research to Innovation, How to Create Value for an IT Consulting and Engineering Service Firm through its Internal Research Activities

From Research to Innovation, How to Create Value for an IT Consulting and Engineering Service Firm through its Internal Research Activities

Valérie Chanal (University of Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France), Angela Martin (Altran, Vélizy-Villacoublay, France), Gabrièle Breda (Altran, Vélizy-Villacoublay, France) and Clément Bergantz (University of Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJKBO.2017070101

Abstract

IT consulting and engineering firms generally develop strategic knowledge for their clients based on their own competences in various business methods and processes. Knowledge and competences can be improved through collaborative research projects and further leveraged for their own strategic development. The aim of this paper is to build and experiment an organizational management tool within a consulting firm. The tool allows the creation of value and differentiation levers on the competitive market of research and innovation consultancy and illustrates how to benefit from internal research activities that can be viewed as intangible resources. In light of competence-based theory this work shows how strategic knowledge developed on an emerging field such as e-health can be rearranged into strategic processes in order to inspire a proactive strategic vision within a consulting firm.
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Literature Review

Drawing on both existent literature and firms’ common practices of competence management, we identify Competence based Management (CBM) and Dynamic Capabilities Framework (DCF) as essential conceptual views of the firm’s competence and related management practices (Hong & Stable, 2003). Competence based management fosters and adopts a dynamic, systemic, cognitive, holistic view of management mechanisms in today’s changing environment (Foss & Ishikawa, 2007; Freiling, Gersch & Goeke, 2008). CBM defines competence as the ability to sustain the coordinated deployment of resources in ways that help an organization achieve its goals (Sanchez & Henee, 1996). This theory focuses on designing and implementing techniques for leveraging individual skills and competences, as well as team capabilities and organizational competences.

Over the last two decades, the dynamic capabilities framework has moved to the front position of strategic management research (Di Stefano, Peteraf & Verona, 2010). To survive in fast-moving business environments, a firm needs more than difficult-to-replicate assets, but also dynamic capabilities: distinct skills, processes, procedures, organizational structures, decision rules (Teece & Pisano, 1994; Winter, 2003; Teece, 2007). DCF was originally conceptualized by Teece, Pisano & Shuen (1997); Teece & Pisano (1994) as the firm’s ability to integrate and build and reconfigure internal and external competences to address rapidly changing environments. They reflect the ability of an organization to achieve new and innovative forms of competitive advantage given path-dependencies and market positions. DCF seeks to provide a coherent framework which can both integrate existing conceptual and empirical knowledge, and facilitate prescription (Teece, Pisano & Shuen, 1997). Dynamic capabilities maintain competitive advantage once corporate performance is improved faster than its competitors (Winter, 2003) and may explain firm’s business model evolution (Brink & Holmén, 2006).

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