Developing radical innovation in telecommunications: an R&D management perspective

Song, Rui (2015) Developing radical innovation in telecommunications: an R&D management perspective. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Radical innovation has been identified as one of the central topics of innovation management, being relevant to the development process, the categories, and the R&D department’s responsibilities for development. Based on the above three individual research conversations, this research aimed to determine, when the R&D department of a large telecommunications operator engaged in radical innovation, which capabilities they used and how the use of these capabilities was affected by different contextual factors at each stage of the radical innovation development cycle. By comparing the aim of the current research with other researchers’ findings on relevant topics, three gaps in the research were identified, and two research questions were raised, as below:

• RQ1: What capabilities do the R&D department of an STO use for each separate activity during its radical innovation development process?

• RQ2: Within the radical innovation development process of an STO, which contextual factors explain the differential uses of the R&D department’s capabilities?

Following the above research questions and based on the philosophical views of interpretivism and social constructivism, this PhD study uses a qualitative research strategy and a case study research approach for guiding the research design. Based on the data collected from 29 interviews plus a three-month, full-time participant observation, four case studies were conducted, which are the telematics service within China Mobile, the Xi-He system within China Telecom, and 21CN and BT Fusion within British Telecom (BT). By comparing the four cases, the R&D departments’ uses of capabilities in each separate activity of its radical innovation development cycle were identified, and the reasons for the different uses of these capabilities were described in relation to six contextual factors derived from the literature.

Based on the four case studies and the data analysis, from the perspective of the R&D department eight theoretical propositions were put forward for an STO to develop its radical innovation. The propositions concerned the capabilities involved at each stage of the R&D department’s radical innovation development cycle, as well as the contextual factors that played the most significant roles in affecting these capabilities at all of the radical innovation development stages. In addition to the eight theoretical propositions, practically, five guidelines were also proposed in this study, which contributes to the understanding of the R&D managers and strategy people of other Chinese and British STOs, in terms of the impacts that the contextual factor of cultural contexts would have on their radical innovation development activities.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Mosey, S.
Meng, X.
Keywords: Telecommunication systems Management, Telecommunication, Technological innovations, Research and development projects
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > Nottingham University Business School
Item ID: 29179
Depositing User: Song, Rui
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2015 13:56
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 22:21

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