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.
a similar role in the European car industry. Large automotive companies use numerous methods, including websites and technical conferences and fairs, to encourage their suppliers to provide innovative solutions to the problems they face. Innovative automobiles are based on suppliers of innovative components to car companies. The task of the car manufacturer – or the organization responsible for integrating any system of different elements – is to encourage innovation in suppliers of modules or
installed, and ﬁtted out in a few weeks. The new industry posed challenges for rural, craft-based construction by exposing its inefﬁciencies, high costs, and lack of innovation. Demand for craft remained high, despite most people being unable to afford a traditionally built home. Carpenters and small builders did not have the resources to invest in modern production techniques, and large industrial housing manufacturers were not interested in the fragmented rural market. The craft-based housing
receiving her approval, he named this innovation ‘Queen’s Ware’. Other innovations were more radical. In 1775, after around 5,000 recorded experiments that were often difﬁcult and expensive, he produced Jasper, a ﬁne ceramic, commonly blue in colour. This was one of the most signiﬁcant innovations since the invention of porcelain. His major product innovations were still being produced by the Wedgwood company more than 200 years later. 3 Josiah Wedgwood: the world’s greatest innovator By the
perspective is the way research tends to be too divorced from the needs of customers and is generally too long term in orientation. In contrast, rather than having a central laboratory, other ﬁrms ‘decentralize’ their R&D organization structures, with laboratories located close to particular businesses or customers. 96 The problem with this form of structure is research tends to focus on short-term issues and miss opportunities for more radical or disruptive innovations. To try and gain the
innovation. Together, these technologies are being used to make customers on the one hand, and scientiﬁc researchers on the other, combine more effectively in decisions about innovation. By moving experiments and prototyping into the digital world, IvT allows ﬁrms to experiment cheaply and ‘fail often and early’. IvT is also very important in the design of large, complex systems, such as utilities, airport infrastructures, communications systems, where it is not usually feasible to test