linear models of innovation are poorly suited to today's business environment

Topics: Innovation, Technology, Research Pages: 5 (1669 words) Published: January 1, 2014
What is innovation? Innovation is not creation or invention. Innovation is not a simple concept of create or invent a new product either. It is innovation that is to build a new successful product or a theory which will be accepted by people in the market. And linear models of innovation are a description of innovation process. It is a unidirectional, incremental process from basic science, applied science, design or engineering, manufacturing to marketing. To linear models, knowledge flow is very simple in the process of innovation. The origin of innovation is science, the basic science. It will increase the production of innovation when increasing the investment to science. Actually, technology-push model and need-pull model are all involved in linear models of innovation. However, with the development of society and the improvement of science, it needs to be deliberated that whether linear models of innovation are suited to the business environment in modern society. This article will be attempted to demonstrate understandings of innovation and critically thinking of linear models.

Linear models of innovation and other models of innovation
When people came to the world and knew how to trade in exchanging things, they were getting to know what the market is. So with the development of society, innovation theories came out for the business environment. Linear models are a description of innovation process. There are two main models. One is for ‘technology push’ which means that technology pushes the development of products and the acceptance of users. People do research and development first and scientists make discoveries from those surveys. Then technologists develop new product thoughts with those discoveries, which will be given to manufacturers to check and make into products. Finally, users will know the products from salesmen or see in the market. People who believe in this ‘technology push’ theory will think of the more research and development they do, the more successful product they produce. The other one is for ‘demand pull’ which means that demand pull the process of new products coming into market. Marketers collect ideals of new products. And then they do research and development for the products’ design. Next the new products will be produced and come to customers’ life.

In the period 1950s-Mid-1960s the industrial innovation process was generally perceived as a linear progression from scientific discovery, through technological development in firms, to the marketplace (Rothwell, 1994). That is ‘technology push’ model. And In the period mid 1960s- early 1970s emerges the second-generation Innovation model, referred to as the "market pull" model of innovation. According to this simple sequential model, the market was the source of new ideas for directing R&D, which had a reactive role in the process. That is ‘demand pull’ model. People got this theory because of their limited vision at that time. They thought the cause and origin of the innovation are sciences. So they considered that the more investment in science, the more new innovative product would be produced. Obviously, scientific research is one of the reasons for innovation. In the twentieth century, many large corporations, like Philips, Ford, Western Electric and ICI, put lots of money on research laboratory. They built a steady stream of innovations which fed rapidly growing markets for automobiles, consumer electrical products, and industrial chemicals, with the help of science and technology and organized research and development effort. Another key factor is demand. It is easy to be understood. Consumers’ needs make companies change. Companies need to meet consumers’ needs so that their product can be sold and they can get profit. People follow the brand and watch advertisements. Branding and advertising play an important role in this model. And there is a bandwagon effect, which means innovation has been accepted by...

References: Chesbrough, H.W.(2003). Open Innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, MA.
Kluter, H. and D. Mottram(2007) Hyundai uses ‘Touch the market’ to create clarity in product concepts. PDMA Visions,31,16-19
Kline, S.J. and Rosenberg, N. (1986). “An overview of innovation.” In R. Landau & N. Rosenberg (eds.), The Positive Sum Strategy: Harnessing Technology for Economic Growth. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, pp. 275–305.
Rothwell, R. (1994) Towards the Fifth-generation Innovation Process, International Marketing Review, 11, 1, 7-31.
Tidd, J. and Bessant, J. (2009) Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological, Market and Organisational Change, Chichester: Wiley.
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