How to organize innovation capabilities?

Organizing innovation capabilities requires responsible leaders that are interested in new solutions for society.

Improve innovation processes

To gain a sustainable competitive advantage, companies need to innovate their products and services to continuously delight and surprise their existing customers as well as attract new customers. However, the innovation process is inherently risky, and many new product or service development projects do not see the light of day despite spending considerable time, effort, and money. Even if an innovation project is successful, sometimes the company is not able to fully reap the benefits, which is also a loss for society that seeks solutions for the challenges of the 21st century. That is why we are interested in how companies can organize innovation capabilities that can both explore new ideas and exploit existing ones. With the insights that we are interested in deriving, companies can improve their innovation processes and contribute to the challenges of the 21st century.

Organizing innovation capabilities requires responsible leaders that are interested in new solutions for society. Particularly in larger companies, middle management needs to take on a more entrepreneurial role in developing the dynamic capabilities around ‘ambidexterity’ – the art and science of sensing and seizing new customer needs. As such, this research touches upon all three values of Nyenrode – Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Stewardship - and goes towards our mission of serving society by shaping responsible leaders!


Societal challenges require not only an active government. There is also a role for responsible companies whose innovations create solutions for societal challenges.

Innovation is our passion and helping companies to improve their innovation capabilities makes our work meaningful. We are particularly interested in the tensions between operations/engineering vs. marketing/sales on the one hand and exploration (explore new ideas) vs. exploitation (exploit existing products/services) on the other hand.

Research methods 

We propose a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methods, starting with a review of the ambidexterity, new product development, and dynamic capabilities literature, followed by several papers focused on how and to what extent middle management can play a role in transforming the organization towards one with sustainable innovation capabilities. Company involvement is very important in this, and we intend for our PhD student to closely work together with the Nyenrode Innovation Circle, Nyenrode’s alumni interested in all things Innovation-related.

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Below you will find the other examples of relevant research topics. Click here to go the overview page


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