Modelling the innovation process: A multi-case comparison

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Evitt, Fern
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Master of Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Unitec Institute of Technology
Peel, Simon
Henson, Donna
Masters Dissertation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
internal innovation
innovation management
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Evitt, F. M. (2007). Modelling the innovation process: A multi-case comparison. Unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Unitec New Zealand, New Zealand.
This thesis studies the management of the internal innovation process. Innovation is considered critical to success in business today, yet companies do not always unlock the value contained within innovations. The purpose of this study is to develop an understanding of the practical systems currently employed by companies and to gain insight into the activities leading to successful innovation outcomes. The expectation is that a more structured approach to innovation management would deliver greater effectiveness to realising innovation value. A multiple case study strategy was utilised comparing and analysing three companies’ existing innovation-to-outcome systems, with Rogers’ Innovation Decision Process model adopted to ground the study. The findings advance knowledge of innovation system events and related features with results revealing two main innovation systems as consistent across the companies studied. There is a basic system for realising incremental innovation as a consequence of an organisation’s ethos for continuous improvement. The second is a more complex system for radical innovations. This second system supplements the basic version by providing safeguards against the risk inherent nature of this type of innovation. The research indicates that a successful innovation-to-outcome system does not operate in isolation. Rather it appears that there is a link between companies’ operating environments and the effective realisation of innovation value. Further, the results suggest that for such companies successful unlocking of innovation value can lead to growth. This in turn requires formalising innovation systems to sustain innovation activities. This study offers an emerging input/output model drawing on insights and referencing patterns associated with best practice. The model provides a basis for companies to formalise the management of their innovation activities.
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