The dual management of innovation by the Decathlon group. A distinctive strategic system on the sport goods market

Par Dieter Hillairet, Guillaume Richard, Patrick Bouchet


On the sports goods market, brands permanently seek new means of conquest and strategic positioning in order to be more competitive. For that purpose, they place innovation more and more at the centre of their development. With the Decathlon Group, it is interesting to see how a retailer decided to take a way of “intrapreneurial” expansion consisting in carrying out an upstream vertical integration through the creation of independent and autonomous specialised brands (“passion-brands”). This paper shows how the European leader of the sports goods market set up, on the level of its R&D, an innovation and innovating ideas management system particularly powerful which distinguishes it from the international sports brands. Through two recent examples of innovation, we will see that this company has implemented a dual management in order to create new sports goods, one being part of a rational type process, and the other of a turbulent type process.
JEL Codes: M31, M11, L1, O30


  •  management of innovation
  • sports goods market
  • Decathlon Group
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