Keywords: core rigidities, dynamic capabilities, innovation process, knowledge management, stage-gate model, new product development, NPD, optimisation, structured benchmarks
Core rigidities in the innovation process: a structured benchmark on knowledge management challenges
A changing industrial and technological environment implies a need for a diligent acquisition of dynamic capabilities. While tackling exogenous discontinuities is imperative for success, the problem often lies in the firms' internal processes, where existing core competences might deteriorate to core rigidities. The presented contribution is two-fold: first, a conceptual framework for assessing knowledge-related rigidities along the innovation process is introduced, which is derived from the stage-gate model for new product development. The innovation process is evaluated within cases of four industry firms, with emphasis on identifying problem areas, core rigidities and resulting challenges along the entire way from idea to market launch. Secondly, the challenges are clustered, providing a basis for deriving optimisation approaches, as well as summarised and compared across the cases. In all phases of the innovation process, the benchmark with other firms seems to ease the process of creating awareness on rigidities and to provide a basis for managerial improvement.