Directions in the Field of Technology Innovation Management

Directions in the Field of Technology Innovation Management

Robert S. Friedman (New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA), Desiree M. Roberts (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY, USA) and Jonathan D. Linton (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-038-7.ch011
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Abstract

Although the goal of this book is to provide foundational knowledge through indepth consideration of the seminal literature in the technology innovation management field, we now offer some thoughts on integrating the past, present, and future research directions in this field. The underlying theme that holds together the research considered in this book is the tension between the old (current routine) and the new (innovation). Mainstream business and management theory, like economic theory, focuses on the assumption of equilibrium. The study of technology innovation management at its core considers how to manage in the face of dynamics caused by the novelty and uncertainty associated with innovation. The nature of these dynamics can differ depending on a variety of factors. In some cases, the innovation causes smaller disruptions, due either to the magnitude or the nature of its effects. Such changes are often associated with terminology such as continuous, evolutionary, incremental, or sustaining. At other times, the disruptions are quite large, either due to a greater magnitude of change or a substantial difference in the change. These changes are often associated with terms such as discontinuous, disruptive, radical, or revolutionary. A major challenge to technology innovation management research is that the assumption of equilibrium is needed in many cases to allow for sufficient simplification of phenomena to produce generalizable theory and solutions that are tractable and close formed.
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Introduction

Although the goal of this book is to provide foundational knowledge through in-depth consideration of the seminal literature in the technology innovation management field, we now offer some thoughts on integrating the past, present, and future research directions in this field. The underlying theme that holds together the research considered in this book is the tension between the old (current routine) and the new (innovation). Mainstream business and management theory, like economic theory, focuses on the assumption of equilibrium. The study of technology innovation management at its core considers how to manage in the face of dynamics caused by the novelty and uncertainty associated with innovation. The nature of these dynamics can differ depending on a variety of factors. In some cases, the innovation causes smaller disruptions, due either to the magnitude or the nature of its effects. Such changes are often associated with terminology such as continuous, evolutionary, incremental, or sustaining. At other times, the disruptions are quite large, either due to a greater magnitude of change or a substantial difference in the change. These changes are often associated with terms such as discontinuous, disruptive, radical, or revolutionary. A major challenge to technology innovation management research is that the assumption of equilibrium is needed in many cases to allow for sufficient simplification of phenomena to produce generalizable theory and solutions that are tractable and close formed.

While it is difficult to produce elegant theory and formulations in a dynamic environment, it is still possible. Even if it were not possible, research in this area is still worthwhile to conduct. While it may be possible for academic researchers to overlook inconvenient phenomena for the sake of simplifying reality to develop theory, practitioners must make decisions in both the presence and absence of theory. Consequently, no matter how context dependent or limited in explanatory power the early attempts at theory are, these attempts are still worthwhile, since they are a step forward in assisting practitioners in moving beyond intuition. For many researchers the need to support practitioners (managers) in a highly applied field (business and management) is a suitable call for research efforts. For those whose outlook is specifically on basic science, the feeling might be, Why should we place our efforts into helping practitioners? This is the job of consultantsnot research academics. In this case, it is worth considering that research on technology and innovation management is still extremely worthwhile, since while theory exists, competing concepts and perspectives jostle for recognition and acceptance. This current status describes a field that is at the focal point of Kuhn’s view of scientific revolutions (1962). That is, disagreement on theory exists because the field of technology innovation management currently sits in the messiest part of scientific evolution—a scientific revolution. Unsurprisingly, it is not clear when our field will emerge from this state. However, it places this sub-field of business and management research apart from many other areas of study, where the focus is currently on traditional science—incremental change driven by empirical studies.

Having just considered the status of technology innovation management research from an evolutionary standpoint and having considered the seminal works in this field throughout the text, we will turn our attention to more recent events. While it is not possible to state with any certainty which recent research will be considered seminal work several decades from now, it is possible to give insights into current trends in research and to project these out into the future. The consideration of open source was an attempt to make a prediction in the massive sub-field of information systems. Time will tell whether that subject and the articles discussed in this section become seminal.

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Table of Contents
Foreword
Steve Walsh
Acknowledgment
Chapter 1
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
This book differs from other academic works on the management of technology and innovation because it focuses on the seminal research of the field.... Sample PDF
Introduction to the Field of Technology Innovation Management
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Chapter 2
R&D Process Models  (pages 31-54)
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
This chapter on research and development processes and models begins with a section concerning the economics and finance of R&D. Liberatore and... Sample PDF
R&D Process Models
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Chapter 3
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
This chapter on innovative practice supporting technological development has several thematic overlays that show some consistency in terms of... Sample PDF
Technology Development and Innovative Practice
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Chapter 4
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
This chapter discusses how information that supports innovation flows throughout an organization, the construction and effects of team composition... Sample PDF
Social Influence and Human Interaction with Technology
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Chapter 5
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
This chapter introduces the seminal literature addressing technological diffusion, innovative product diversification, and the organizational... Sample PDF
Diffusion and Innovation: An Organizational Perspective
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Chapter 6
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
This chapter on the role of knowledge in the operation of organizations consists of two main thrusts: the effects of knowledge (accrual... Sample PDF
Knowledge and Change in Organizations
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Chapter 7
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
There are three dominant themes that run through this chapter on organizational innovation strategy: the rate and nature of change; attitudes... Sample PDF
Organizational Innovation Strategy
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Chapter 8
New Product Development  (pages 192-215)
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
The articles addressed in this chapter on new product development can be classified in two general categories—papers that address the internal... Sample PDF
New Product Development
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Chapter 9
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
In this chapter on information and communication technology management, we retain a chronological order to emphasize the development of research... Sample PDF
Information and Communication Technology Management
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Chapter 10
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
It is beyond question how ubiquitous and powerful computing has become for commerce, communication, and culture. As the articles addressed in this... Sample PDF
Open Source and Software Development Innovation
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Chapter 11
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
Although the goal of this book is to provide foundational knowledge through indepth consideration of the seminal literature in the technology... Sample PDF
Directions in the Field of Technology Innovation Management
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About the Authors