Innovation Initiatives in Large Software Companies: A Systematic Mapping Study

02/16/2018
by   Henry Edison, et al.
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To keep the competitive advantage and adapt to changes in the market and technology, companies need to innovate in an organised, purposeful and systematic manner. However, due to their size and complexity, large companies tend to focus on maintaining their business, which can potentially lower their agility to innovate. This study aims to provide an overview of the current research on innovation initiatives and to identify the challenges of implementing the initiatives in the context of large software companies. The investigation was performed using a systematic mapping approach of published literature on corporate innovation and entrepreneurship. Then it was complemented with interviews with four experts with rich industry experience. Our study results suggest that, there is a lack of high quality empirical studies on innovation initiative in the context of large software companies. A total of 7 studies are conducted in such context, which reported 5 types of initiatives: intrapreneurship, bootlegging, internal venture, spin-off and crowdsourcing. Our study offers three contributions. First, this paper represents the map of existing literature on innovation initiatives inside large companies. The second contribution is to provide an innovation initiative tree. The third contribution is to identify key challenges faced by each initiative in large software companies. At the strategic and tactical levels, there is no difference between large software companies and other companies. At the operational level, large software companies are highly influenced by the advancement of Internet technology. Large software companies use open innovation paradigm as part of their innovation initiatives. We envision a future work is to further empirically evaluate the innovation initiative tree in large software companies, which involves more practitioners from different companies.

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