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Innovation and corporate culture

04 Feb 2009


Professor Rajesh Chandy explains why corporate culture is the key to innovation

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Research by Rajesh Chandy, Professor of Marketing at London Business School, has found that corporate culture has a much stronger effect on innovation than other factors such as research and development expenditure, national culture and government policy.

In a new podcast, Rajesh discusses his findings and the culture that firms need to develop in order to drive innovation from within.

"There are three traits that we found common to innovative firms," Rajesh explains, "a focus on future markets; a willingness to cannibalise existing investments; and a tolerance for risk. These firms also offer incentives for enterprise and empower their product champions to make things happen."

Rajesh also comments that as government policies on innovation become more similar, what is increasingly important is what happens within the firm itself. Rajesh adds that the returns on innovation can vary, but that radically successful innovations tend to be game changers, using new technology to improve customer benefits and firm profits. 

Finally, Rajesh adds that in other ongoing research, he is exploring innovation in emerging markets and multinational companies, as well as how much individuals, particularly at the very top, matter in driving innovation in firms.

Listen to the podcast for more of Rajesh's thoughts on innovation.