(Study influence of organizational, operational,and process variables on innovation)
This subcommittee obtained financial support from NSF for a proposal from the University of Cincinnati to identify the characteristics of both breakthrough and evolutionary projects that tend to increase the probability of their success. Data were collected on 221 projects in 21 member companies of IRI, representing four different industries. Conclusions from this milestone work were presented to the IRI membership at the 1983 IRI Annual Meeting and published in RTM during 1985 and 1986. The project identified 12 steps that management could use to sustain idea generation and submission, indicated that R&D projects on process technology were more likely to succeed than projects on product technology, and that neither type of research would assist a firm in anticipating breakthroughs that could obsolete its line of business. It was recommended that a mix of product, process, and breakthrough projects would best serve a firm's strategic goals.