Title: Organisation and management of research and development facilities – from cost to profit focus

Authors: Inge Kerssens-van Drongelen, Alan Pearson, Bill Nixon

Addresses: Faculty of Technology and Management, University of Twente, 7500 AE Enschede, the Netherlands. (Formerly)R&D Research Unit, Manchester Business School, Booth Street West, Manchester M15 6PB, UK. Department of Accountancy and Business Finance, University of Dundee, Dundee, DD1 4HN, UK

Abstract: In this publication, we present the main findings of a research project into differences in organisation, management and activities between R&D cost centres, semi-profit centres, profit centres, and independent R&D businesses. First, a theoretical framework is presented and then the empirical findings are reported. It is concluded that there are notable differences between cost and profit-oriented R&D structures relating to the degree of freedom in decision making on research management topics, the balance among types of R&D activities, strategy formulation, performance evaluation, marketing and management demands imposed on the capabilities and attitude of the staff. Furthermore, it is observed that semi-profit centres have the most challenging task as they are in an invidious middle position they have to bid for internal projects in order to cover their costs while their freedom to attract external customers or to use a cost plus transfer price is usually limited.

Keywords: research and development; R&D management; R&D organisation; R&D businesses; R&D performance measurement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2003.003135

International Journal of Technology Management, 2003 Vol.25 No.8, pp.746-765

Published online: 12 Jul 2003 *

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