Innovation Governance in Project-Based Organizations
Permanent address of the item is
Innovaatioiden hallinta projekteihin keskittyneissä organisaatioissa
Innovations have become an important way to gain competitive edge and therefore have an increasing effect on companies’ strategies. Innovation projects need structures, project management tools and decision-making models, i.e. project governance, to ensure the value creation of projects, programs and portfolios. The subject needs further addressing so that best practices in governing innovation in project-based organizations can be created. This research aims to understand what kind of governance mechanisms two different project-based organizations use and how the governance mechanisms could be improved to improve also the organization’s innovation capabilities. In this research, a qualitative multiple case study was applied in two Finnish project-based organizations. The data was collected by semi-structured interviews. The interviewees represented different roles related to new product development and innovation functions in the case companies so that a comprehensive picture of the current governance mechanisms used could be obtained. The data from case companies was analyzed first case-specifically, and a cross-case comparison was made between the companies. The main challenges in innovation governance were highlighted. The study reveals the importance of project governance also in innovation context. Well-defined governance structures support the decision-making and management of innovation projects, programs and portfolios. Well-defined roles and responsibilities also help in steering the projects. The base of all innovation activities in an organization is an innovation strategy that is communicated all the way to project level so that the project goals are aligned with the strategy. That way everyone in the organization can commit to innovation initiatives. The results of this study can be used in project-based organizations to support the constructing or redefining of innovation project governance in an organization. A checklist enables detecting the relevant topics related to innovation project governance. The results offer several topics for future research. Innovation governance in different sized companies requires further research as well as the role of different actors and decision-makers affecting the governance and the efficiency of innovation projects.