Innovation

This week we are considering innovation in organisations. This is a very good time to look at the management of innovation due to the increasingly fast pace of emerging technology and the effect of the recession on organisations. As the literature states, “people are being asked to do more with less” and at the same time the organisation has to remain relevant and keep up to date with advances in technology and changes in the ways things are done.

I think the definition that the authors have constructed is one that encompasses the many facets of innovation.

“Innovation is the multi-stage process whereby organizations transform ideas into new/improved products, services or processes, in order to advance, compete and differentiate themselves successfully in their marketplace.” (Baregheh, Rowley and Sambrook, 2009, 1334)

The advent of Web 2.0 and products like e-books and other technology based products are bound to have an effect on information organisations because there has been a total shift from paper/books to computers/tablets. It is interesting that our own library for example, has decided to re-align space in the library from reference books to a library hub. This is an example of innovation management in the organisation. It also shows that the organisation has to develop along with what the user wants or needs from the organisation or it will not survive. I’m currently doing a project of the management of user experience in a library and it is interesting in regard to this literature because there is the question of where the user stands in innovation management. Does the organisation allow the user to be part of the innovation process? What can the user contribute? Is it better to allow the user input as they will be the eventual consumer of the product or service?

I also find the concept of innovation management interesting in regard to the previous topics we have covered such as organisational culture and knowledge management. An organisation has to have a culture that allows for innovation and successful knowledge sharing will also contribute to the goal of effective innovation management. Innovation is not something that can just happen as a once-off, it is an on-going process and therefore has to be deeply embedded in an organisations policies. The reason it needs “management” is because strategic decisions have to be made at many different steps throughout the process and someone has to keep the momentum going. There is a need for a culture that allows for creativity and entrepreneurship in an organisation to allow for innovation.

There are many challenges to innovation. As I have mentioned earlier the effects of the economy and the rate of change are both challenging for organisations but effective management of innovation can overcome these challenges or at the very least lessen their effects on the organisation.

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