Similar, yet different: a comparative analysis of the role of trust in radical and incremental product innovation
Journal article, 2015
Trust within teams is a central performance driver in product innovation. In this paper, we examine the antecedents to and performance implications of trust in firms engaged in radical innovation compared to those working towards incremental innovations. Our findings suggest that systematic processes and structures are significantly linked to trust in firms conducting radical innovation, but not so in firms conducting incremental innovation. Our findings also indicate that trust is significantly linked to business performance in radical innovation firms, although we do not find that the link between trust and performance is stronger for radical innovation firms, compared to incremental innovation firms. A central contribution of our study is therefore a better understanding of how trust operates differently in radical innovation firms, compared to incremental innovation firms. Our findings are of interest to research on radical innovation management, as well as to researchers studying the role of trust in a context of product innovation.