R&D Processes and Strategic Renewal


IT as a Driver, Special issue of R&D Management; Deadline 30 Sep 2021

POSTING TYPE: Calls: Journals

Author: Aybars Tuncdogan

Special Issue of R&D Management

Call for Papers:

IT as a Driver of R&D Processes and Strategic Renewal

Special Issue Editorial Team

The link between IT and organizational outcomes is attracting increasing levels of interest from scholars in the fields of management and information systems (e.g., Cai et al., 2019; Chen et al., 2014; Gerow et al., 2015; Lioukas et al., 2016; Ray et al., 2013; Urbinati et al., 2020). This growing interest is not without reason; developing technologies are radically changing the organizational processes underlying R&D and strategic renewal. For example, just as the marketing-oriented organizations of the 2000s formulated their strategic decisions in a significantly different way from the product-oriented organizations of the 1960s, the path taken by data-driven organizations when formulating decisions is completely different from that of their predecessors (e.g., Clemons et al., 2017; Habjan et al., 2014; Herterich et al., 2016; McAfee et al., 2012). In the same way, not only how we formulate strategic renewal, but also how we implement it, is changing. For instance, using virtual teams, or even teams based on crowdsourcing, to implement an exploration strategy is an alternative to using either traditional functional teams or newer cross-functional teams (e.g., Afuah & Tucci, 2012; Charlier et al., 2016; Colbert et al., 2016; Gilson et al., 2015; Love & Hirschheim, 2017). In other words, even when the same overall innovation strategy is being used, IT may allow different kinds of implementation. IT variables also can moderate the links between traditional variables. On the one hand, IT variables can increase the effectiveness of certain innovation processes (e.g., Chen et al., 2015; Lioukas et al., 2016; Kayyali et al., 2013), while on the other hand rendering certain others obsolete. All in all, despite the growing interest in the link between IT and strategic renewal, there is still much new territory to explore, and a number of fundamental questions remain unanswered.

In this special issue, we will be focusing on empirical and conceptual papers that address the role of IT concepts in R&D processes and successful strategic renewal. This link can be examined from a number of different angles. Some papers may examine the effect of an ITrelated concept on a particular aspect of formulation of R&D/innovation strategy. For instance, one might ask: does the use of big data increase the use of both exploratory and exploitative strategies, thereby increasing organizational ambidexterity? And what about the use of mimicking strategy (e.g., Enkel & Gassmann, 2010; Lee & Zhou, 2012) by R&D departments? Other papers might focus on the effects of IT on implementation of strategic renewal. For instance, innovation-based strategies can be implemented either through the use of ad hoc decision-making mechanisms or through the use of dynamic capabilities (e.g., Teece, 2012; Winter, 2003), and IT capabilities may play a role in determining which capability is used more often by providing a foundation upon which dynamic capabilities can be built. Other studies might focus on the role of IT as a determinant of outcomes about R&D and strategic renewal. For instance, the use of IT may improve companies’ ability to discover new markets or R&D departments’ ability to invent new products, and may thus give them better first-mover advantage and organizational performance.

Furthermore, in line with the emerging micro-foundations movement within the management literature (e.g., Enkel, Heil, Hengstler, & Wirth, 2017; Felin, Foss, Ployhart, 2015; Foss & Lindenberg, 2013; Powell et al., 2011; Tuncdogan & Volberda, 2020), we also would like to encourage research, which examines various specific levels of analysis (e.g., individual, team, and organization), as well as multilevel studies. More specifically, IT variables have the potential not only to affect directly the organization as a collective whole, but also to affect smaller parts of the organization (e.g., tendencies of individual employees, managers. or teams), and this may in turn indirectly affect the whole organization. To give an example, organizational ambidexterity is a multilevel construct, in which exploration and exploitation at the individual, team, or business unit level can affect exploration/exploitation balance of the organization as a whole (e.g., Simsek, 2009; Tuncdogan et al., 2015; Tuncdogan & Volberda, 2020). We know that different kinds of information flow result in different degrees of exploration and exploitation at the individual level (e.g., Mom et al., 2007), but we have little or no knowledge regarding the effects of digital information flows on managers’ exploration/exploitation tendencies. It would thus be valuable for studies to examine how digital information flows affect the exploration/exploitation tendencies of individual managers and thereby the level of ambidexterity within the organization as a whole.

In summary, this interdisciplinary special issue will take a step forward towards a better understanding of the link between IT and R&D/strategic renewal processes, and we welcome studies from different traditions (e.g., quantitative, qualitative, mixed-methods). Also, as can be seen from the sample topics below, we will consider both papers focusing on a specific level of analysis (e.g., individual, team, or organization) and multilevel studies.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • IT network structure and organizational ambidexterity
  • IT-based communication systems and multi-level innovation outcomes
  • Exploration and exploitation tendencies of virtual teams
  • IT as a driver of dynamic capabilities
  • The use of big data in R&D management
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) and R&D performance
  • Internal electronic word-of-mouth and successful implementation of R&D strategy
  • IT as an antecedent of R&D capabilities
  • IT capabilities-based human resource management practices and innovation-related outcomes
  • IT capabilities and first-mover advantage in dynamic environments
  • IT capabilities as a moderator of the link between marketing orientation and innovative product performance


Deadline: September 30, 2021

Short Bios

Aybars Tuncdogan is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Marketing and Technology at King’s Business School, King’s College London. Prior to joining King’s College London, he worked as a lecturer in Marketing & Strategy at Cardiff University. He completed his PhD at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. His research employs psychological constructs for the purpose of understanding how we can explain, predict and shape managers’, consumers’ and collectives’ (e.g., teams, organizations, consumer tribes) strategic decisions. His papers have appeared in R&D Management, Leadership Quarterly, Long Range Planning, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Personality and Individual Differences and Teaching in Higher Education. Previously, he has co-edited a book entitled “Strategic Renewal: Core Concepts, Antecedents and Micro-Foundations” (by Routledge), and is currently co-editing two other books, entitled “The Oxford Handbook of Individual Differences in Organizational Contexts” (by Oxford University Publications) and “How to Undertake Teaching and Learning in Business Schools” (by Edward Elgar).

Fatima Wang is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Marketing at King’s Business School, King’s College London. She obtained her Ph.D. on cross-cultural knowledge transfer from the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Currently, she teaches international marketing, sustainability and ethics, and omnichannel retailing at King’s Business School, King’s College London. Her research interests include international business strategy, frontline service providers, risk and uncertainty, and sustainability. Her work has appeared in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Service Research, Industrial Marketing Management, Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Business Research, and International Business Review.

Henk W. Volberda is Professor of Strategic Management & Innovation at Amsterdam Business School of the University of Amsterdam. Moreover, he is Scientific Director of the Amsterdam Centre for Business Innovation. He has been a visiting scholar at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and Cass Business School, London and obtained his Ph.D. cum laude in Business Administration of the University of Groningen. His work on strategic flexibility, coevolution, management innovation and new organizational forms has led to an extensive number of published articles in academic journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Global Strategy Journal, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of International Business, Management Science, Organization Studies, Organization Science, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal and Strategic Management Journal. He is a member of the editorial boards of Long Range Planning, Journal of Strategy and Management, Management and Organization Review and Organization Studies.

Ellen Enkel is the Editor-in-Chief of the R&D Management, and Professor of Business Administration and Mobility at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Duisburg- Essen, one of the largest engineering faculties in Europe. She specialises in innovation in products, processes, services and business models in the mobility industries. Before her position at Duisburg-Essen, she was head of the Dr. Manfred Bischoff Institute of Innovation Management of Airbus at the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany. From 1999 to 2008 she did research and teaching in various positions in information systems and technology management at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland). Her research interests focus on cooperative innovation processes like open and cross-industry innovation, platformbased businesses as well as entrepreneurship. She has broad industry experience working with companies like Daimler, Unilever, IBM, BASF, Alcan and Henkel, has published four books and several academic articles in the area of innovation and technology management.


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Enkel, E., Heil, S., Hengstler, M., & Wirth, H. (2017). Exploratory and exploitative innovation: To what extent do the dimensions of individual level absorptive capacity contribute?. Technovation, 60, 29-38.

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Tuncdogan, A., & Volberda, H. W. (2020). The effects of perceived corporate brand personality on individuals’ exploration and exploitation orientations: the moderating role of self‐brand connection. R&D Management, 50(2), 188-197.

Urbinati, A., Chiaroni, D., Chiesa, V., & Frattini, F. (2020). The role of digital technologies in open innovation processes: an exploratory multiple case study analysis. R&D Management, 50(1), 136-160.