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MANAGING INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP Take Home Examination Answer 1: 807 words Answer 2: 909 words Answer 4: 834 words Total wordcount: 2,550 words Table of Contents 2 Question 1 2 Question 2 5 Question 4 9 Question 1 “Innovation is the same as technological advances.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement?…
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Download file to see previous pages Even when the innovation is principally a product or service that has its beginnings principally as a technological breakthrough, its eventual usefulness will depend greatly on whether the new discovery or invention could be rendered in a form usable according to how the discoverer or inventor intended it to be used. In Tidd, Bessant and Pavitt (2005) the invention of Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb was discussed, but was not put immediately to commercial use. The light bulb needed electricity to work, which was not difficult for Edison to generate (as direct current) for a single or even a set of light bulbs for his own lab or residence. But if every house and street was to be lighted up by his invention, a way must be discovered for electricity to be generated at a single station, then transmitted and supplied to a whole geographical area. Edison’s direct current, however, could not travel long distances, and was very inefficient. It took the discovery and development of Nikolai Tesla’s alternating current – something Edison resented and even campaigned against – to perform this task, because AC transmission was very efficient, and it travels extremely long distances compared to DC’s few kilometres (McNichol, 2006).. In retrospect, Edison’s light bulb was a technological invention, but one that could not be put to practical commercial use until AC supply was invented. The above case shows how technology cannot stand alone to sustain an innovation, because the innovation has to do with more than just the technology, but the way people’s lives are changed. The innovation must be linked to the market in all its aspects – its technical design, manufacturing, management and commercial activities (Tidd, et al., 2005). Furthermore, a successful innovation is not just filling the consumer’s need, but fulfilling it in a new and differentiated way. A new product or service is not an innovation, unless it offers the customers “something of value that competitors don’t have (MacMillan & McGrath, 1997, p. 133). This does not necessarily rest on the technological merits of the innovation; sometimes, it may be something as simple as the relocation of handles, and lids, or the design of packaging that offers the customer utility; all of these are innovations, though not necessarily advanced technologically. Among our readings is a case study on CEMEX, or Cementos Mexicanos, a Mexican cement giant. Although it is a century old and comes from a developing country, the company has become the third-largest selling cement company in the world by volume, exporting to more than sixty companies, and garnering sales of more than US$ 6 billion (Sull, Ruelas-Gossi, & Escobari, 2004). The company’s secret is that it tries to understand the needs of its market very well, sending employees out to the communities to learn where their product can be improved to meed the customers’ needs, and develop ways their customers can better afford their product. The article goes on to describe how companies in developing economies are able to innovate despite: (1) lack of a solid technology base; (2) serving a country with low disposable income; and (3) operating on a shoestring budget (Sull, Ruelas-Gos ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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