Total-System Innovation Management: Concepts and Applications

Total-System Innovation Management: Concepts and Applications

Oliver Yu (San Jose State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4769-5.ch007
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Abstract

Innovation has been the driving force of economic growth and social progress. Today, innovation is viewed more than ever as one of the most important ways to resolve economic and social difficulties and sustain global development. Nevertheless, there is no widely adopted definition and unified framework for the innovation process and its management. This chapter develops a simple yet universal definition of innovation and uses a total-system approach to identify and examine the common key elements of many different types of innovation and to establish from which a unified framework for the development and management of an innovation process. This total-system approach is further applied to a particular key element, creative idea generation, to develop a number of practical techniques for its implementation.
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Background

There exists a large body of literature on developing a conceptual framework of the innovation process and its management, and a well-organized summary of the evolution of various generations of major frameworks of innovation process has been provided by du Preez, Louw, and Essmann (2008). However, these frameworks are diverse, lack of unity, and often incomplete or with special emphases.

This lack of unity may partly stem from a lack of agreement among definitions. Since a popular authority of English language, the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (2013), has defined “innovation” as “1. The introduction of something new; 2. A new idea, method, or device”, it is not unusual for many researchers to viewed “innovation” as synonymous to “new idea” or “invention”. Thus, as pointed out by Rothwell (1994), many early frameworks tend to focus on creativity, internal idea generation through technology push or demand pull, and external idea search and selection. Subsequent generations of frameworks [Trott (2005), Galanakis (2006), and Tidd and Bessant (2009)] have extended the innovation process to idea implementation, but still often neglected important key elements such as “seeking and providing initial support” for these new ideas. Moreover, practically no framework has included “societal and ethical considerations” in the innovation process and its management.

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