Innovation Management

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Assignment 1
Ducati: The Making of a Grand Prix Motorcycle

For the course Innovation Management 2012

In total you can earn 100 points for this assignment.

10 points are given for grammar and spelling.

30 are given per sub-question (for a detailed specification see the answers below).

Dividing your points by 10 gives you the grade for your assignment.

Regards,

The IM team
Assignment Question 1:

In the article “Toward a General Modular Systems Theory and its Application to Interfirm Product Modularity” Schilling (2000) explains why systems become more or less modular.

a) Explain how, according to Schilling, “heterogeneity of inputs”, “heterogeneity of demands”, and “urgency”, together and/or alone, influence modularity of a system. b) Using the Ducati case as an example, please describe how a combination of “heterogeneity of inputs”, “heterogeneity of demands”, and “urgency” influenced the decision to move from an integrated design to a modular design for the Ducati GP5 motorcycle.

Assignment Question 2:

In the article “Navigating the technology landscape of innovation” by Fleming and Sorensen (2003) technology landscapes are discussed as a basis for developing three strategies for product innovation.

a) Explain the difference between a “smooth” and a “jagged” technology landscape. In your answer please address what the term technology landscape refers to and what it means for such a technology landscape to be “smooth” or “jagged”. b) Please explain how the level of “synergistic specificity” (see Schilling, 2000) influences a technology landscape. c) Please explain how “heterogeneity of inputs” (see Schilling, 2000) influences a technology landscape.

Assignment Question 3:

In the article “Navigating the technology landscape of innovation” by Fleming and Sorensen (2003) technology landscapes are discussed as a basis for developing three strategies for product innovation.

a) Explain each of the three strategies for product innovation. In your answer please discuss what each of the three strategies entitles, discuss one advantage and one disadvantage of each strategy, and discuss for which “technology landscape” they are especially suited. b) Describe which of the three proposed strategies (Fleming and Sorenson, 2003) for product innovation Ducati used for the development of the GP4 motorcycle. Please explain your answer. c) Which of the three proposed strategies (Fleming and Sorenson, 2003) for product innovation would suit Ducati best for the development of the new GP5 motorcycle? Please explain your answer.

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Box for
grading purposes

1a) The greater the “heterogeneity of inputs” the more possible configurations exist, which are most easily achievable through modularity, and thus the more likely that modularity occurs (2 points for positive relation, 2 points for a correct explanation).

The greater the “heterogeneity of demands” the more value is attached to different configurations, which are most easily achievable through modularity , and thus the more likely that modularity occurs (2 points for positive relation, 2 points for a correct explanation).

Modularity will be especially strongly affected if possibilities AND demand are both in place (“heterogeneity of inputs” and “heterogeneity of demands” are both high), because without possible configuration demands cannot be realized and without different demands possible different configurations have no value (2 points for interactive effect, 2 points for explanation).

Urgency enhances the effects of “heterogeneity of demands” and “heterogeneity of inputs” on modularity as the pressure it represents makes it more important to oblige to demands and use possibilities (2 points for enhancement of demands, 2 points for enhancement of inputs).

Total 16 points

1b) In order to answer this question one needs to know what “heterogeneity of...
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