We use data from the Italian manufacturing industry to document a positive correlation between delegation and R&D. This result is robust to controlling for the determinants of R&D such as human capital, capital intensity and sectoral or regional effects. We further investigate the determinants of delegation and find that ownership concentration is significantly related to delegation. Among large firms with a dispersed ownership structure, larger ownership concentration implies less delegation, whereas the opposite emerges with more concentrated ownership. Differences between the Northern and Southern regions in terms of firms' propensity to delegate decisions and engage in R&D also emerge.