10 Rules For Managing Global Innovation

Last Updated: 20 Apr 2022
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This is a review of the HBR article “10 Rules for Managing Global Innovation” for the authors Keeley Wilson and Yves L. Doz . Keeley Wilson is a senior research fellow at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France .Yves L. Doz is the Solvay Chaired Professor of Technological Innovation at INSEAD. INSEAD is ranked the 5th best business schools for an average of three years period by the Financial times ranking. “10 Rules for Managing Global Innovation” is written by the authors to pin point ten rules that the authors see crucial for a multinational company to manage its globally dispersed business units and still keep the innovative process going smoothly and efficiently.

The authors list of the 10 rules is as follows,

1. Start small: invlolving all team members in a short term projects and easy to achieve in order to build it and to make all members ready for the big challenging project 2. Provide a stable organizational context: and thus avoiding employees feeling insecure and lose focus on the innovative process. 3. Assign Oversight and Support Responsibility to a Senior Manager: to avoid miscommunication, conflict, and stalemates over crucial decisions 4. Use Rigorous Project Management and Seasoned Project Leaders: to impose discipline, structure, and a shared sense of purpose across the locations.

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5. Appoint a Lead Site: ensured prompt decision making and a project successfully delivered on time and on budget 6. Invest Time Defining The Innovation: so that everyone working on the project has the same understanding of the goals and their individual contributions to them. 7. Allocate Resources On the Basis of Capability, Not Availability: Teams are selected not because they are the best qualified but because they are available at the time , when resources became available elsewhere, this module was moved to a team that had the necessary capabilities , but by then, morale had been dented, time wasted, and costs increased.

8. Build Enough Knowledge Overlap for Collaboration: in order to ensure critical interdependencies between modules. 9. Limit the Number of Subcontractors and Partners: to limit the additional complexity and time trying to manage different partners. 10. Don’t Rely Solely on Technology for Communication: regular face-to-face communications are important in order to drive projects forward, share knowledge, and reinforce trust between teams and project leaders.

Article Critique:

The article clearly states 10 rules that are important for managing global innovations in the author’s perspective. As they have done researches on companies that known for their high innovation spend for more than a decade in order to present a set of guidelines for successfully managing global innovation projects. The Authors identified the problems that MNCs face clearly in the article and their examples include big MNCs like Citibank, HP, Hitachi, Infosys, Intel, LG Electronics, Novartis, Philips, Samsung, Siemens, Vodafone, and Xerox in the article which gives great credibility to their guidelines for managing global innovations.

However, the article could be seen as being very generic and each rule in the article should be more elaborately explained and a guide for implementing those rules. And this should have been addressed as the limitation of the article. On the other hand, this overview provided by the authors gives the readers a good point to start from, especially if they are to know what managing innovation in an MNC means. Furthermore other external references are confirming the author’s perspective. Concerning the second rule, other business schools professors are confirming the same idea like Rita Gunther McGrath professor at Columbia Business School.

In her book How the Growth Outliers Do It. “Stability is what enables these companies to innovate and to maintain steady growth. Coupled with transparent values, it allows employees to feel confident about taking the risks that experimentation requires.” Google Co-founder, Larry Page, had the idea of Google Books for a long time. People thought it was too crazy even to try, but he went ahead and bought a scanner and hooked it up in his office. He began scanning pages, timed how long it took, ran the numbers and realized it would be possible to bring the world’s books online. Today, Google Books Search index contains over 10 million books.

This example shows how important it is to start small for big projects to succeed as the authors clearly stated in the first rule in the article. Other literature was found to be supporting the role of management discussed in several rules in the article. “The findings reveal that management involvement has a positive and significant impact on all dimensions of innovation featured. It is also found that organizational innovation has a mediating effect on the association between management involvement and technical innovation.” (“The role of management involvement in innovation” by Stanley Kam Sing Wong published by Emerald Group Publishing Limited)

Concerning the author’s last rule about communication, the case of Toyota “The Americanization of a Japanese Icon” clearly explains the importance of not relying on technology alone for communication. “The Fact is That Toyota and it’s U.S subsidiaries don’t always see eye to eye, especially when it comes to making design choices for the American market. Sometimes their conflicts are over small issues, other times there are clashes over crucial product-strategy decisions.”


The Authors successfully managed to give the reader an overview of how to manage innovation in a MNC. Moreover, other literature and examples was found to be supporting the authors point of view. However, it would have been of more benefit if there were more specific examples to elaborate how this rules could be implemented successfully each of these rules were stated and a guidelines

Cite this Page

10 Rules For Managing Global Innovation. (2016, Aug 16). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/10-rules-for-managing-global-innovation/

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