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Many studies confirm that IM is a complex matter which involves: developing and refining new basic knowledge; adapting new products and processes; eliciting support for the innovation; and gaining acceptance and long-term application. Innovation, at its core, is a management question, and failures can be traced to weaknesses in process management. Bhat (2010) argued that the skills, knowledge, and resources to implement an innovation are embedded in organizational innovation and are integral parts of managerial capabilities. For innovative behavior to be fostered in an organization, a culture and climate of innovation must be embedded in the organization’s modus operandi. Tidd, Bessant, and Pavitt (2005) identified the key issues in IM as: competitive advantage; types of innovation; incremental versus radical innovation; and disruptive innovation.


After my discussion, supported by the video, you will:
• Become familiar with the key tasks of IM in an organization
• Appreciate the critical function of teams in generating innovation
• Gain awareness of the evolving role of customers as co-creators of innovation
• Understand that IM requires organization change-management skills which senior executives must develop
• Recognize that IM implies the development of a long-term strategic planning horizon

Discussion of Training Video

The video highlights the five tasks of managing innovation and reflects the distillation of several years of research on innovation and IM. Based on the research, the key tasks in IM were identified as: chartering; teams; customers, the organization; and the market.

Chartering encompasses the strategic roadmap of where innovation should start, and highlights organizational culture and rules, how to source funding, obtaining permission to spend company time on the project, and the need for clear communication by senior executives. Innovation by teams is increasing in organizations, so there is need to focus on team composition, leadership, needs, and objectives. Creativity studies support the thesis that team diversity improves performance, teams need to be more process oriented, to work across silos with customers and suppliers, to receive challenging clear objectives, and to be supported by top management.

The practice of co-creating innovation with the involvement of customers is gaining ground because customers bring diverse perspectives and, in several cases, the innovation focus should be less on incremental and more on radical or disruptive innovation. Moreover, IM is about organizational change-management, hence teams, leaders, and executives need to be aware of the critical issues surrounding people, systems, processes, training, and recruitment. Finally, IM requires that organization leaders adopt a 3-5 year strategic planning horizon and in so doing deeply ponder the management team, approaches to mentoring recruits, the new challenges posed by the power shifts from companies to customers, and the need for detailed planning.

Instructor’s Comment

Research on IM has mainly been devoted to product innovation, but with the development of service industries and the transformation of advanced countries into service economies, innovation in services is attracting increasing attention. The traditional approach to innovation follows a sequential process, but innovation in services is more an iterative process that includes a high level of customer involvement in co-creating the service. The concept of open innovation is becoming best practice in many companies, and Chesbrough (2011) applied the concept to services which advances our understanding of the issue of service innovation and the management of innovation in service companies

Summary of Video

The video successfully focuses our attention on the five critical areas involved in achieving success in IM which in summary are: understanding the enablers of and constraints on innovation; team involvement is vital because of increasing workforce diversity; customers are integral to the innovation process; IM often implies change-management; and IM involves detailed long-term planning.

[Submitted August 2011]


Bhat, J.S.A. (2010, January-June). Managing innovation: Understanding how continuity and change are interlinked. Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management. 11(1/2), 63-73. Retrieved from

Chesbrough, H.W (2011,Winter). Bringing open innovation to services. MIT Sloan Management Review, 52(2), 85-90. Retrieved from

Tidd, J., John Bessant, J., & Pavitt, K. (2005). Managing innovation: Integrating
technological, market and organizational change (3rd ed.). Sussex, England: John Wiley.

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