Tensions arose in the X-ray department of the Philips research laboratory during the interwar period, caused by the interplay among technological development, organizational culture, and individual behavior. This article traces the efforts of Philips researchers to find a balance between their professional goals and status and the company's strategy. The X-ray research, overseen by Gilles Holst, the laboratory's director, and Albert Bouwers, the group leader for the X-ray department, was a financial failure despite technological successes. Nevertheless, Bouwers was able to continue his X-ray research, having gained the support of company owner Anton Philips. The narrative of the X-ray department allows us to explore not only the personal tensions between Holst and Bouwers, but also the interaction between individual goals and company strategy in an industrial research laboratory.