Big firms have a structural problem with innovation…or do they?

Publish date:

Larger firms have expanded their innovation sourcing portfolios: continuing to take advantage of their traditional sources while expanding their use of open innovation.

MIT Research Report

Bigger firms are believed to focus on the exploitation of existing resources and incremental innovation over the exploration of new products, markets, or ways of working. As a result, they are believed to be more prone to disruption by smaller, more agile firms that are able to innovate faster and more efficiently.

In our research with MIT, we set out to test if these commonly held assumptions can be verified empirically. Our aim was not to assess the difference in innovation practices between startups and large firms. Rather, we wanted to understand whether, as firms grow larger, there is a decrease in innovation efficiency as the literature suggests.

We surveyed 300 companies with revenues of at least $500M from across seven industries and eight countries, which allowed us to look at how innovation practices scale as firms go from hundreds of millions in revenue to tens of billions.

In this paper, we will answer three main questions:

  • Are larger firms more internally focused?
  • Are they less agile than their smaller counterparts?
  • Are they less digital?

We found results that refute many popular beliefs about larger firms.

MIT-Capgemini Research

File size: 982.45 KB File type: PDF

Thought leadership & blogs

Digital procurement research: 2020-2021

The procurement function is ever evolving. The shift continues from a department responsible...

The Need for Speed

Four recommendations to turbo-charge digital performance in the automotive industry

Related Resources

Digital Transformation

Capgemini named a Leader by Information Services Group (ISG)

Capgemini is delighted to be in the Leaders’ space in the three major quadrants –...

Digital Transformation

Securing Enterprise IoT from Vulnerabilities and Breaches

Intel and Capgemini have combined their security expertise to deliver an end-to-end IoT...

Meet our Experts

Sarah Jaballah

Expert in Corporate Innovation


By continuing to navigate on this website, you accept the use of cookies.

For more information and to change the setting of cookies on your computer, please read our Privacy Policy.


Close cookie information