Research Article

Innovation as a new organizational function: evidence and characterization from large industrial companies in Brazil

Raoni Barros Bagno; Mario Sergio Salerno; Ana Valeria Carneiro Dias

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Abstract: Although innovation has acquired increasing importance for companies, achieving regular innovation capability imposes huge challenges for managers. Recent studies analyzed the experience of some large companies in setting up a dedicated team with the specific mission of conducting innovation management activities. Based on this analysis, innovation has been pointed to as a distinct and emerging organizational function. In this context, the central question posed in this study arises: what are the characteristics of such a function? Case studies were conducted in fifteen large industrial companies in Brazil that, except for two control cases, have established dedicated teams for innovation management activities. The analysis revealed key characteristics of the Innovation Function (IF), divided into six perspectives: general purpose, origins, legitimacy and guidance, people, assignments and future perspectives. The characterization of IF adds new elements to existing knowledge about how companies can build and maintain regular and systemic innovation capability.


Innovation management, Organizational functions, Industrial companies, Systematic innovation


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