Managers of metal companies recognize the importance of continuous product development and engineering. Value chain integration, product platforms, digital business models and marketing are still less noticeable in metal companies but that may change fast as customers adopt new concepts. Managers have to respond to those changes with strategic initiatives, which are difficult to measure and control. I analyze changes in research and development expenditures focusing on industrial metals and mining companies. The decision to increase or decrease R&D expenditures in relation to changes in sales is strategic in metal companies as unprecedented stream of innovative products enter the market. In this paper, I propose to distinguish four basic management behaviors related to R&D expenditures and provide with graphical exemplification of market analysis based on two variables (growth in R&D expenditures and growth in sales). The results indicate differences in behavior of companies in developed and developing countries. Further differences can be observed between lower R&D intensity and higher R&D intensity companies. The proposed methodology can be used to map the company’s R&D competitive position.Keywords: R&D, corporations, metallurgy, innovation
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