Innovation: A Very Short Introduction
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What is innovation? How important is innovation in business? How can we use it to succeed? In the last 150 years our world has been transformed--largely due to innovation. Our parents were born into a world where television had yet to be invented, and there was no penicillin or frozen food. Our great grandparents began life in a world with no light bulbs, cars, telephones, or airplanes. This Very Short Introduction looks at what innovation is and why it can affect us so profoundly. It examines how it occurs, who stimulates it, how it is pursued, and what its outcomes are, both positive and negative. The book shows that innovation is hugely challenging and failure is common, yet it is essential to our social and economic progress. Mark Dodgson and David Gann also consider the extent to which our understanding of innovation has developed over the past century and how it might be used to interpret the global economy we all face in the future.
technical review said it was so big and heavy it could only be carried around by kangaroos. Its failure cost Apple’s CEO his job. Yet ten years later and its operating system was found in the iPod, and several Newton-like features were incorporated in the iPhone. Innovation routines and ways of doing things actually restrain learning about these forms of innovation. Focus on the status quo produces returns that are positive, proximate, and predictable; focus on the novel produces returns that
their reputation for formality – blue suits were the uniform of the day – they decided to put the Apple staff – who were usually casually dressed – at ease by wearing their weekend clothes to the meeting. They arrived in jeans and sweatshirts to ﬁnd the Apple staff sitting uncomfortably in newly purchased blue suits. That this could occur amongst organizations in the same industry and country highlights the potential problems that might occur in collaborations in different sectors and nations.
public returns. The capacity of ﬁrms to access the R&D conducted by others is not costless. It requires investments to allow recipients to absorb the new ideas. Third, if market failure leads to sub-optimal investments in R&D, then there must be an optimal level, but there is little evidence about what this might be. Fourth, the delivery mechanisms of R&D support are highly generic, usually taking the form of tax credits for spending on R&D, rather than its performance. There is rarely provision
attractive to potential recruits who want to be innovative, and selection mechanisms should vet unsuitable appointments. Employees who ﬁnd it disturbing need to be supported and guided through the introduction of innovation. Technology During the 1960s, the research of Joan Woodward into factory organization in the southeast of England began to explain the relationship between technology and organization. She showed how organization varied according to core underlying technology, whether
decision-making and improve risk management of complex innovations. Small and medium-sized organizations may increasingly be the progenitors of breakthrough technologies, using their advantages of speed, ﬂexibility, and focus over larger ones. Compared to large, publicly traded companies, small ﬁrms can take and bear unusual risks. And not being so constrained by the organizational rigidities of large ﬁrms, they can more easily develop and trial novel business models and processes. Small and