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How entrepreneurial orientation can leverage innovation project portfolio management

Kock, Alexander; Gemünden, Hans Georg

FG Technologie- und Innovationsmanagement

Innovation project portfolio management (IPPM) is a key task in R&D management because this decision‐making process determines which R&D projects should be undertaken and how R&D resources are allocated. Previous research has developed a good understanding of the role of IPPM in R&D strategy implementation and of successful IPPM practices. But the fundamental orientations that drive the strategy formation and implementation process have never been investigated in the context of IPPM, and it is unclear whether successful practices are equally valid for different strategic orientations. This study, therefore, investigates the moderating impact of a firm’s entrepreneurial orientation on the relationship between strategic portfolio management practices and portfolio success. An empirical analysis of 257 firms shows that both innovativeness and risk taking as entrepreneurial orientation’s dimensions positively moderate the relationship between managerial practices and performance. Specifically, we find that firms high in innovativeness profit more from stakeholder engagement compared to firms low in innovativeness. Firms high in risk‐taking profit more from a clearly formulated strategy. With increasing innovativeness and risk‐taking propensity, firms also profit more from business case monitoring and agility in portfolio steering. The results suggest that a firm’s entrepreneurial orientation can leverage the effect of IPPM practices. Vice versa, a lacking entrepreneurial orientation can render these practices ineffective. Strategic orientation and IPPM practices should, therefore, be aligned with each other to enable firms to better implement their strategy and generate competitive advantage.