MANAGING INNOVATION COURSE

MANAGING INNOVATION COURSE
Review the exercise BELOW. The exercise file contains questions to be answered. The format of the paper can be numbered double-spaced responses to the questions. The total length of the paper should be 300 – 400 words. Email the assignment to me through the course email.
INNOVATION PORTAL
1.  Sector Innovation Patterns
Think about the sector in which your firm (or one with which you are familiar) is active. You could, for example, be looking at a firm involved in children’s toy manufacturing. Now try to list the major changes in that sector over the past 25 years in terms of what contributes to competitiveness. Who (which firms) have been the winners and losers and why? You are trying to get a feel in this for how technological change can shape the competitive dynamics of an industry, so think about questions like these:
• How has the industry changed – and how has technology helped (or could it help)
deal with these changes?
• What new technologies have emerged – and how have they been used?
•What are the main market demands (e.g. price, quality, design, customization, speed
of response, etc.) and how has technology affected the ability of firms to offer these?
• If a new entrant came into the industry what would he/she have to offer to become a
market leader – and how might technology help them do so?
You may need to spend some time asking people in your firm or reading about the firm and its wider sector to build up this picture. Summarize your research in the form of short ‘bullet points’ which highlight the strategic role played by technology. You could use the framework below, which is filled in for the example of a children’s toymaker.
1. Major changes in
the industry
Big influence of
TV and films –
increasing tie-ins
Price pressures
push actual
manufacturing to
the Far East
Fashion industry
with high risks –
and benefits for
the right products
Costs of new
technologies
mean fewer
players can stay in
the game of new
product
development – so
consolidation of
the industry
2. Major new
technologies
Electronics and
programmability
TV/Video and
computer games – as
competitors to
traditional toys but
also as complements
which can extend
their range, e.g. Lego
bricks plus computer
= programmable toys
3. Main market
demands and how
technology affects
them
Strong price pressure
– pushes
manufacturing to low
cost locations –
technology relevant
in keeping costs low
whilst enabling
consistent quality
Major emphasis on
design technologies
4. How to become a
market leader
Close market
understanding and
the ability to
communicate this
deep into the
organization and
configure products to
meet these demands
Broad knowledge
base – especially in
newer technologies
like computers and
software but also in
design of parts
Access to
distribution
networks
Strong design and
marketing capability