Innovation Initiatives in Large Software Companies: A Systematic Mapping Study
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Context: 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 the structure in maintaining their business, which can potentially lower their agility to innovate. Objective: The aims of this study are to provide an overview of the current research on innovation initiatives and to identify the challenges of implementing those initiatives in the context of large software companies. Method: The investigation was primarily performed using a systematic mapping approach of published literature on corporate innovation and entrepreneurship, which was then complemented with interviews with four experts with rich industry experience. Results: Our mapping 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 the context of large software companies, 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 of this paper is to provide an innovation initiative tree. The third contribution is to identify key challenges faced by each initiative in large software companies. Conclusions: 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. In addition, large software companies use open innovation paradigm as part of their innovation initiatives. We envision our future work is to further empirically evaluate the innovation initiative tree in large software companies. More practitioners from different companies should be involved in the future studies.