The idea of eco-friendly RVs may sound like a contradiction in terms, but for associate professor of management Anne Parmigiani, the motorhome industry's recent efforts to go green proved to be a fruitful setting for investigating why some firms innovate differently than others. Parmigiani and Jennifer Irwin, PhD '12, (now assistant professor of management at Louisiana State University) began studying RV manufacturers in fall 2008, when the harsh economic climate forced the firms to find new ways to differentiate their products. Some firms relied on component-based innovation, upgrading existing RV models with greener elements. Others opted for systemic innovation and created new, more environmentally friendly RVs from the ground up. As they report in a paper submitted for publication to the Journal of Operations Management, the strength of each company's relationships with its suppliers and customers determined the approach the company took. Download an abstract of the paper.