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Journal Article

The biases that keep good R&D projects from getting funded

Harvard Business Review
Paola Criscuolo, Linus Dahlander, Thorsten Grohsjean, Ammon Salter (2017)
Technology, R&D management
The researchers explored how organizations decide to invest in different innovations by studying a large professional service firm with offices in 37 countries. They analyzed all of the R&D project proposals submitted by its staff, including information about which projects received funding, and found that managers don’t always carefully weigh the pros and cons of each project and that biases can creep into the decision-making process. They found that there is a sweet spot of novelty that makes R&D committees more likely to fund a project, and that certain characteristics of the R&D selection committee can also influence funding decisions.
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