You never know when a line of research will lead to something breath-takingly original that can create whole new markets out of nothing. So if you clamp down too hard on innovation and blue-sky thinking, and limit yourself to "buzz-word du jour" conventional wisdom, you may end up missing something hugely profitable.
On the other hand, you don't want to throw money into a pit forever. That's no way to run a business, as the original .bombs discovered too late.
It may be tough to make those calls. In fact, my gut feel is that the ability to make the right decision on research, most of the time, is what separates crap companies from outstanding ones.
Or, you could just copy everyone else's ideas, produce crap, and make people buy it anyway 'cos you're a monopoly. That sure saves on the R&D costs!