Developments in Managing Innovation, Knowledge and E-Business

Developments in Managing Innovation, Knowledge and E-Business

Benn Lawson (The University of Melbourne, Australia) and Danny Samson (The University of Melbourne, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-032-5.ch001
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Successful innovation is seen as a top priority within many organisations (Porter, Stern, & Council on Competitiveness, 1999). Innovation is the mechanism by which organisations produce the new products, processes and systems required for adapting to changing markets, technologies and modes of competition (D’Aveni, 1994; Dougherty & Hardy, 1996; Utterback, 1994). This process requires the application of knowledge in some new or novel way. However, the explosion in knowledge and increasingly specialized technologies and markets has meant that a single firm alone is unlikely to possess all the relevant knowledge required to innovate. Consequently, organisations have been searching for new ways of overcoming this difficulty. One such mechanism is harnessing information technology to facilitate new organisational structures suited to managing innovation and knowledge into the 21st century. Information technology has expanded the opportunities (and challenges) of undertaking innovation. Twenty-four-hour product development processes are now a reality as multi-nationals race new products to the market. This chapter shows how leading innovators leverage e-business tools to harness knowledge residing in all areas of their value chain, including suppliers and customers. A case study of Cisco Systems, Inc. is used to illustrate this new operating model.

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