Structuring R&D in an International Environment: A Case Study of Inspari, a Medium Sized IT Company Venturing Into an International Environment

Philip Læborg & Kristian Bukalo Jensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The aim and purpose of this master’s thesis is to dig into some of the current trends in research and development (R&D). The lifetime of businesses are getting shorter due to an acceleration in output of innovation and technology. This has led to an increased pressure on companies’ business models and strategies, as these are constantly threatened by disruption. Combining this with the opportunity and threat from internationalization the environment becomes rather complex. Therefore, it is important for knowledge companies, that they can source new knowledge and apply it into commercial interests. From this the following research question was derived: “How can an IT service company venturing into an international environment implement a valuable R&D structure that supports its business model?” The research is a case study, of Inspari, a medium sized IT service company. Inspari gave access to key areas, which is found to be relevant to analyse. First, it is found that the human resources are not surprisingly of great importance in a service based company. Both for service delivery but also for collaborations, knowledge sharing practices and creative thinking. Further, performance culture is found to be a challenge for innovation and development. Further, the analysis shows that Inspari’s collaboration efforts are centered around incremental innovation. Especially their technical partners and customers are found to be important sources of knowledge. E.g. by sourcing new technology at suppliers or testing new ideas with customers. Additionally, the internationalization of Inspari is given some considerations. The matrix structure is found to be able to deal with some of the challenges of going abroad. Lastly, the ability to search and learn are found to be of importance. It is found to be important to consider the relevance in abundance to the organizational life cycle, for Inspari this leads to a more incremental based innovation as a company in growth. However, they have already implemented preparation for the future in form of more bureaucracy and the R&D office, which can support more distant learning and radical innovation with a longer time orientation. It is found to be of value in securing the organization not to decline. The analysis gives the authors a foundation to suggest some recommendation to Inspari such as considering the implementation of organizational slack and country rotation to support its innovative efforts. In conclusion Inspari is found to be a company with a relevant case for the research question and further gives important insights in the consideration of how to structure an R&D structure.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages125
SupervisorsHenrik Johannsen Duus