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Essay on innovation and change

essay on innovation and change

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Title: Innovation and change

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Subject: Business
Date: December 26, 2004
Length: 3 / 679
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Essay text:

Another change has been with the drift towards longer 18 month contracts which offer better value for money but ensure no upgrade until the end of this term. Technology and innovations in the market have been noticeable with the introduction of 3G phones and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)...
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The image of 3G has shown signs of being successful but VoIP has had little impact on the market currently. Motorola has attempted to offer fashion conscious flip phones to the market, and LG has developed touch screen phones, rich in features to attract the youth further to their handsets...
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Similar Essays:

From a business standpoint it is about being creative while trying to maintain or increase profits. There are concepts that take years to perfect and there are others that need changes made to them overtime to continue their purpose and still remain competitive against counterparts.

Competition is fierce in different industries across the board and if you expect your idea to flourish or grow into a profitable business venture, you need to be willing to make changes, take risks, and think outside of the box. Innovation may be most known with technology, but industries across the board need creativity to distinguish themselves from their competition. This is more than just providing a product or a service that is needed. This means making changes to something that will be accepted overtime and having others agree with your vision.

Distinguishing brand identity is another area innovation and change that includes providing goods consumers will identify and use more often. There are various types of goods that offer similar purposes but it seems to be more of a challenge to try and provide something different without the feeling of it being something already out there.

The concept of change can be risky when some companies wait too long to make changes to something people have grown to enjoy.

Making changes is an important part of innovation. It includes taking risks while knowing the needs of your market. It is an important part of company growth within its industry. Change can be good when it is planned in advance. Other times change needs to take place quickly or abruptly to benefit from new forms of creativity. Understanding how each concept works together can help determine growth and direction of a business. There are those who do not like change, including consumers and businesses, but it is becoming a way of life that many have to adjust to whether they want to or not.

New technologies, opportunities and threats force organizations to acquire adaptive capacities in order to remain relevant, competitive and survive in an increasingly complex business environment. Organizations and individuals have to embrace change initiative programmes in order to ensure organisational long-term success. In this paper, we look at the main theories of innovation and change, whilst maintaining a general view on how an organization goes about its change management decisions. We will describe one successful, one less successful change initiative and the impact of these two on the organizational culture. We also come to the conclusion that for a successful implementation of change, a company must be more transparent and listen to every employee's opinions. Then, an integrated approach to the author's personal performance as a leader and what is still lagging to acquire the skills necessary to change development will be covered.


Change, innovation, and even creativity are not new concepts in the framework of organizational development. The past few decades have witnessed the development of several theoretical models aiming to improve the way organizations function.

" Innovation means successfully drawing on new ideas. All innovation begins with creative ideas. Thus, creativity is the starting point for innovation. Changes in innovation are necessary for the successful exploitation of new ideas.

In an organizational setting, creativity is the generation of an idea, and innovation as the implementation of these creative ideas, known as creative output. (Woodman, 2008). Amabile implies that creativity requires individuals with creative characteristics, while a group of people are primarily responsible for implementing these creative ideas, so they can result in innovation (Amabile, 1983). At the core of organizational success, an employee is likely to be creative when they expect that their creativeness will lead to personal consequences that are more rewarding. (Ford, 1990)

There are individual differences that may trigger employee's creativity. Many theories revolve around the fact that individual creativity is a function of personality factors, creativity-relevant skills, specialized knowledge and genuine motivation. Overall, the success of an organization depends on the capacity of its staff to communicate and share knowledge (Bryans, 2001), and it is observed that the importance of specialized knowledge in an organization has been steadily increasing (Ingram, 2000)

Hughes states that managing change is one of the major challenges that face not only the organizations, but also the individuals' creativities that should accompany the organizations in their processes of change (Hughes 2006).

In addition he highlights the importance of innovation for growth and economic development. For example, a technical discovery without a valid product or a service cannot be regarded as an innovation.

Van de Ven (Van De Ven 1986) adopts a broader definition of innovation by setting it as the development and implementation of new ideas by individuals who, over time, engage with others in a defined institutional context.

Through these different definitions with the common denominator in the individual, innovation could be summarized as a creation, whose application would generate business opportunities meeting existing needs or addressing new needs.

Through Schumpeter (Schumpeter 1934), we discover the five major types of innovations: (i) the introduction of a new product; (ii) the introduction of a new method of production, (iii) the opening of new markets; (iv) the conquest of a new source of supply of raw materials; (v) the conception of new organizations.

Different from Schumpeter's theory, Tidd and Bessant (Bessant, 2009) summarized four dimensions of change, which they define as the 4Ps of innovation:

Product innovation - changes in things (products/services) which an organization provides; (ii) Process innovation - Changes in the ways these things (products/services) are created and delivered; (iii) Position innovation - Changes in the context in which the products/services are introduced; (iv) Paradigm innovation - Changes in the underlying mental models which frame what the organization does.

This is innovation capability that triggers organizational health.

Tidd (Bessant, 2009) states that the implementing phases of innovation carry a high degree of risky as companies need to invest substantial resources and the uncertainty can significantly influence the implementation process.

A great deal of research has been conducted to try to identify what factors affect the rate and extent of adoption of innovation by the markets. A number of characteristics of innovation have been found to affect diffusion (Rogers 2003):

Relative advantage, (ii) Compatibility, (iii) Complexity, (iv) Trialability, (v) Observability

In a dynamic environment, success comes from looking for the next opportunity and having the ability to finding insights into new products or services. Innovations may also be classified by their degree of intensity. When an innovation brings an improvement to the processes, it is described as incremental innovation. Christensen (Christensen 1997) states that "incremental innovation does not change the nature of the product or service but allows the company to strengthen its offer without upsetting its value chains".

Innovation is not only a matter of major advances or radical innovations but also includes small-scale changes or incremental innovations (Tidd, 2006). Innovation was considered largely as the creation and development of new ideas. However, generating new ideas is just one step of an innovation. Thus, as Tidd states, "innovation is a process, not a single event, and needs to be managed as such. The influences on the process can be manipulated to affect the outcome - that is, it can be managed …"

One notable model describing the innovation process is the innovation pentathlon framework (Goffin, 2005). A more generic innovation process model by Tidd and Bessant (Bessant, 2009) divides the innovation process into four phases: (i) Generating new ideas - how can we find opportunities for innovation? (ii) Selecting the good ones - what to do and why? (iii) Implementing them - how to make it happen? (iv) Capture - how to get benefits from it?

In his research, Shapiro argues that perpetual and pervasive innovation is the key to long -term sustainable success in the continuous search for new consumers. (Shapiro, 2002) To survive competition, organizations must rapidly and repeatedly re-invent themselves often through its best resource, the employees.

Relocate where work is done to cut down on handoffs and delays.

5. Reduce the frequency of carrying our specific activities.

6. Reassign who does the work by asking if anyone else could achieve the same result more effectively and efficiently.

7. Retool the technology that supports getting the work done. Could new software and automated equipment transform our ways of working?

Tidd (Tidd 2006) recognizes that shocks trigger innovations and changes occur when a threshold is reached (be it opportunity or threat). Similarly, Schumpeter (Schumpeter 1934) identifies the resistance to change when "the resistance manifests itself in the groups threatened by the innovation, then in the difficulty finding the necessary cooperation, finally in the difficulty in winning over consumer."

Change and change models

An analysis of some of the works of authors considered "masters" of leadership explains this (Porter 1980) (Drucker 1999). The reasons for change resistance are essentially within the individuals of the organization and the environment in which they operate. Some changes occur because of the opportunities that arise, while others are planned as in mergers/acquisitions.

Change occurs efficiently only if there is a complete commitment from within the organization. Change happens through people therefore, as part of the process of change it is necessary to know and stimulate their values, their beliefs, their behaviors and their emotions. Kim argues that "organizations learn via their individual members (Kim 1993). Therefore, understanding individual learning theories are important for understanding organizational learning."

There are different areas of change within an organization. Balogun and Hailey describe four types of changes: adaptation, reconstruction, evolution and revolution (Hailey, 2004).

Scope of Change

Nature of change






Big Bang



Senior and Fleming see change as either soft change (group work change agent as catalyst, more complex) or hard change (clear objectives, achievable, less complex) (Fleming, 2006)

Planned change takes conscious and attentive effort on the part of the organization.

Employees and organizations usually resist change unless they have to.

Before embarking on an organizational change initiative, a clear strategy must be planned in order to anticipate potential problems. One often criticized model for change is Lewin's model of change, which consists of unfreezing, transforming, and freezing. Unfreezing refers to conditioning individuals' readiness for change, and establishing ownership. It revolves around increased awareness by stakeholders of the existence of a dissonance between the organization and its environment. It fosters a desire for transformation that is then spread in the organization. This is a period of self questioning where reflections abound on the driving forces and changing patterns of perception. This stage is characterized by instability, loss of landmark and a degree of uncertainty resulting in the sense of the need to change (Lewin, 1951).

During the transformation, momentum builds when stakeholders introduce change and plan its implementation and transformation with the commitment of individuals to accept the change initiatives. In the final phase, refreezing, individuals recognize the change and reestablish the equilibrium, both personally and within the organization.

Refreezing thus prevents individuals to return to the previous step, and wide acceptance leads to progress. (Gilley 2005).

Lewin's "Force field analysis" (Lewin 1951) further considers that "an issue is held in balance by the interaction of two opposing sets of forces - the positive and the negative - in terms of those forces driving change and those forces restraining change. Lewin considers a number of positive forces that support this state together with a set of restrictive forces that oppose and counterbalance it. In essence, this resistance allows Lewin to conceive patterns of continuity and discontinuity within relatively stationary structures in group behavior. In this respect, behavioral change is not conceived of as naturally emergent, but rather as a planned process requiring the intervention of a 'change agent' . Lewin's model has several limitations in that it fails to address the human side of change and doesn't address the emotional state of people during the change process and relies on the change agent to act as a cohesive between states of stability while helping to diffuse resistance. Not every employee or stakeholder will agree on the new vision or let alone implement it.


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