BEYOND THE STEADY STATE: MANAGING DISCONTINUOUS PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION
Research on the innovation process and its effective management has consistently highlighted a set of themes constituting "good practice". The limitation of such "good practice" is that it relates to what might be termed "steady state" innovation â essentially innovative activity in product and process terms which is about "doing what we do, but better". The prescription works well under these conditions of (relative) stability in terms of products and markets but is not a good guide when elements of discontinuity come into the equation. Discontinuity arises from shifts along technological, market, political and other frontiers and requires new or at least significantly adapted approaches to their effective management. This paper highlights empirical findings from a selection of companies involved in a project sponsored by the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry. The results indicate a number of key routines that organisations could implement to enable discontinuous innovation.
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