Title: Aiming at innovation: a case study of innovation capabilities in the Swedish defence industry

Authors: Sofia Börjesson; Maria Elmquist

Addresses: Department of Technology Management and Economics, Center for Business Innovation, Chalmers University of Technology, Vera Sandbergs Allé 8, Gothenburg SE 412 96, Sweden ' Department of Technology Management and Economics, Center for Business Innovation, Chalmers University of Technology, Vera Sandbergs Allé 8, Gothenburg SE 412 96, Sweden

Abstract: Many firms are struggling with altering and developing their organisational capabilities. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to organisational capability theory by providing insights from an empirical setting of the successive process of developing capabilities to respond to sudden and disruptive changes to the market context. This paper is based on an exploratory interview study of a Swedish defence supply organisation. We argue that to develop capabilities, firms need to question the logic behind how to generate new knowledge. The organisation, we studied, did not question the overall assumptions in its development organisation, nor did it revisit the underlying norms and values of its product development organisation. The initiatives it launched in response to change and to develop their capabilities were ambitious, but insufficient; they did not address the critical issue of knowledge generation. Changes in the context pinpoint the strategic change aspect of the development of innovating capabilities.

Keywords: innovation management; defence industry; Sweden; organisational capabilities; sudden changes; disruptive changes; market contexts; disruption; new knowledge; knowledge generation; logic; change management; development organisation; underlying norms; underlying values; new product development; NPD; business initiatives; critical issues; strategic change; innovating capabilities; business innovation; business research.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2012.045636

International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 2012 Vol.6 No.2, pp.188 - 201

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 29 Feb 2012 *

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