Innovation in an organisation
Innovation is a very important function in an organisation it can improve quality of goods and services. Without innovation organisations can lose their competitive edge to competitors in the market every operation department in any organisation need to develop innovative products, services, process, designs and manufacturing processes in order to respond to customer requirement and improve services delivery of an organisation. African organisation need to integrate operation strategy with innovation management in order to effectively compete with world-class organisation and improve their operational efficiencies. . Innovation is important because it’s the key aspect of competitive advantage, by making a company to be ahead competitors before the competitors innovate and take over the market share. Innovation also allows businesses to enlarge their customer base by introducing new products and services and improved processes in the market. Michael Porter defined innovation:
“Innovation include both improvements in technology and better methods or ways of doing things. It can be manifested in product changes, process changes, new approaches to marketing new forms of distribution, and new concepts of scope”.
2. Innovation Drivers
Downey (2007) argue that Innovation is driven by four main factors in the market namely; Changing customers and needs, intensified competition, changing business environment and technological advances. Technological advances: Changes in new technology can influence the need for innovation and new markets. New technology can also create new process in the operations an organisation. Business needs to constantly monitor their technology as technology can influence and change their market or their operational process, Downey (2007). Changing customers and needs: The changing characteristics and customers’ requirements can drive organisation to introduce innovative ideas in order to meet new needs and to be competitive in the market. The aging market will have different requirements, and the size and nature of consumer market will change with the aging population. Changing customers means out-of-date market segments are declining and organisation their product ranges and the operational strategies accordingly to meet the changing markets. Changing Business Environments: Organisation operates in dynamic business environment that directly or indirectly affect the operations of the business. For example government regulations can impact most business operations which also influence the need for innovation. Another factor in the business environment which also influence the need for innovation is the cutting costs by reducing the resources required for key business processes. As a result many organisation have redesigned their business processes in order to gain efficiency. Intensified Competition: The increase in competition in the market can influence the need for innovation in the business operations in order to gain competitive advantages. Companies needs a good market intelligence to effectively monitor competitors operations. The introduction of new products and process by competitors can influence the organisation to respond to the new development by improving or changing the business operations to become successful in the new market.
3. Innovation Phases
According to Downey (2007), innovation progress through different phases before it commercially viable. This phases need to be considered in all aspects of innovation whether it is new product, services, new processes or improved business processes and product. “Today's successful business leaders will be those who are innovative of mind - with the ability to embrace new ideas and routinely challenge old ones. They are alert to instantaneously implement innovations and establish communities of practice through knowledge enablement." -Tom Peters, (2008)
References: Kruger, D., De Wit, P., & Ramdass, K. (2006). Operations Management. South Africa: Oxford University press.
Oxford university press, (2009) IB Business & management, P268-273.
Downey, J., (2007). Innovation Management. The chartered institute of management (CIMA)
Slack, N., Chambers, S., & Johnston, R., (2010). Operations Management, (6th Ed) Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Logan, S., (2012), Innovation in organisation. National Psychology week 11-17 November 2012.
Pryce, V., (2007), Innovation in Services. DTI occasional paper No 9, June 2007. Department of trade and industry.
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