Approaches to Innovation Management

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Approaches to Innovation Management

In what we describe as the center~tor-global innovation model, the new opportunity was usually sensed in the home country; the centralized resources and capabilities of the parent company were brought in to create the new product or process, usually in the main R&D center; and implementation involved driving the innovation through subsidiaries whose role it was to introduce that innovation to their local market. Pfizer's development ofViagra or Intel's creation of Pentium processors are two classic examples of this model. In contrast, what we call local~for-local innovation relies on subsidiary-based knowledge development. Responding to perceived local opportunities, subsidiaries use their own resources and capabilities to create innovative responses that are then implemented in the local market. Unilever's development of a detergent bar in response to the Indian market's need for a product suitable for stream washing is a good illustration of the process, as is Philippines-based Jollibee's strategy of adapting its fast-food products to the local market preferences of each country it entered. Most MNEs have tried to develop elements of both models of innovation, but the tension that exists between the knowledge management processes supporting each usually means that one dominates. Not surprisingly, the center-for-global innovation tends to dominate in companies we describe as global or international, whereas local-for-local processes fit more easily into the multinational strategic model. However, in recent years, traditional strategic mentalities have evolved into two new transnational innovation processes. Locally leveraged innovation involves ensuring that the special resources and capabilities of each national subsidiary are available not only to that local entity but also to other MNE units worldwide. For example, two of Sara Lee Corporation's biggest new brands in the household and body care division in the...
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