Abstract We have found that publications in the literature on R&D management can be classified according to four different forms of reasoning about the R&D process, which we call schools of thought. We have also found that managers of research subscribe to the same four forms of reasoning. The fact that managers unconsciously think in one of four different ways about R&D management explains some of the problems that occur in practice. A preponderance of publications favour one school of thought, whereas a preponderance of practical managers favour a different one. This raises a doubt about the degree to which the published papers meet practitioners' perceived needs
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