Purpose: Despite the importance of innovation, the full innovation potential of companies operating in the industrial sector of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) seems not to have been unlocked yet. Thus, the primary purpose of the study was to explore the key elements of company innovation policies applied on the way to successful innovation.
Methodology: The study is based on qualitative methods. The aim of the study has been achieved through 24 semi-structured interviews conducted with senior management, project leaders, and R&D specialists employed at companies operating in the industrial sector in CEE. The time frame covers the period of the fourth quarter of 2016 and the frst quarter of 2017.
Findings: Managing disruption consists of focusing on innovation development stage and following market imperatives by making the innovation try to address the market needs. Balancing portfolio requires considering product and process innovation jointly. Furthermore, 62% of the interviewees say that breakthrough innovation results ultimately from numerous incremental advancements. As far as policy integration is concerned, achieving competitive advantage through internal research is common amongst technological leaders, while market contenders turn to external cooperation. Moreover, incorporating CSV principles into the concept of innovation policy appears to be a necessity. Managing intangibilities comes down to patents.
Research limitations: The research was burdened with such limitations as respondents experiencing time pressure and the use of only one source of information (the interviewees).
Originality: Despite much general evidence, the study attempts to complement the rare qualitative studies on innovation in CEE. It was carried out as a response to the lack of an in-depth study covering such recurrent challenges in the feld of company innovation policies as disruption, portfolio balancing, integration, intangibilities’ management, and play.