Internet Technologies and Innovation: A Framework Based on the Study of Brazilian Companies

Internet Technologies and Innovation: A Framework Based on the Study of Brazilian Companies

André Grützmann (Universidade Federal de Lavras, Brazil), André Luiz Zambalde (Universidade Federal de Lavras, Brazil) and Paulo Henrique de Souza Bermejo (Universidade Federal de Lavras, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8637-3.ch012
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The Internet has become ubiquitous in the business environment. Hence, innovative companies need to utilize all the sources that this medium can provide. The voices of consumers are shared by the use of many Web tools and may be advantageous in the innovation process. Information architecture needs conceptual models to facilitate the development of its deliverables in the form of blueprints, sitemaps, wireframes, personas, and so on. Based on the findings of a scoping review of the relevant literature and a case study on Brazilian companies, both a theoretical reference and a framework are presented. This chapter aims to highlight that some Internet technologies should be used throughout the stages in the innovation process. Because each technology has both benefits and limitations, the framework may be used to indicate the technologies that are the most appropriate based on the evidence collected. Finally, some implications of each technology for innovation are discussed.
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Innovation And New Product Development

Innovation studies date to the 1960s. However, the early research was not expanded until the 1990s when efforts of the European Community, in association with other countries, resulted in a series of manuals designed to assist in monitoring numbers and forms of innovation (manuals of Oslo, Frascati, & Canberra). However, despite the concern about what it means to innovate, both academics and professionals still have difficulty understanding the subject because it encompasses economics, technology, administration, and so on.

Nelson and Winter (1982) published one of the most influential works in innovation studies. They provided reasons for how organizations and industries change over time, thereby challenging the classical foundations of economics, which they considered insufficient to analyze the technological innovations and the dynamics of firm competition. Dosi (1982) found similarities between the technological paradigms and scientific paradigms outlined by Thomas Kuhn in 1962, stating that a technology is contextual to the associated industrial structures. In his view, technical advances are limited by current technological paradigms, which impose barriers to radical innovations that are associated with emerging technological paradigms.

As innovation studies began to focus on internal aspects of the organization, the notion that innovators are not the only ones to profit from innovation was posited by Teece (1986). Research that studied the phenomenon attributed it to three building blocks: appropriability regimes, complementary assets, and the dominant design paradigm. Thus, innovating companies should seek additional resources to improve their competitive advantages. Teece, Pisano, and Shuen (1997, p. 516) proposed that dynamic capabilities comprised the “ability to integrate, build, and reconfigure internal and external competences to address rapidly changing environments.” The lack of interest in the topic by neoclassical economics allowed management and other fields to develop research that has focused on aspects that enable innovation and influence its effectiveness in firms.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Web-Based Innovation: Encompasses content generated in the Internet environment, mainly the web, to enrich the innovation process.

Blog: Technology where the owner can write about subjects (this is called post) and visitors can read the posts in chronological order and comment the posts.

Twitter: Online social network, also called the micro blog, where users publish messages (tweets) containing no more than 140 characters; followers can read these tweets.

Idea Competition: Technology where the owner, usually a company, invites users to contribute ideas to help solve specific problems in exchange for a reward.

Discussion Forum: Technology where users can interact with other users by exchanging messages, sometimes called posts, and discussing a given subject (topic). The discussion usually occurs by means of organized topics and subtopics in order to help searching.

Website: Technology that relies on the World Wide Web where content is stored in webpages that may contain text, images, video, audio, and hyperlinks.

Co-Creation Platform: Technology where the owner, usually a company, invites users with specific skills and knowledge to contribute ideas that can help to conceptualize a product.

Wiki: Technology where users collaborate to create or edit content organized in pages on a given subject.

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