Strategies and systematic implementation of innovation management for sustainable business success

An analysis of Google Inc.


Term Paper, 2016

19 Pages, Grade: 1,0


Excerpt

Contents

List of figures

1. Introduction

2. Delineation of concepts
2.1. Innovation
2.2. Corporate Entrepreneurship
2.3. Invention

3. Innovation strategies and its processes
3.1. Why is an integrated innovation strategy necessary?
3.2. Which elements are needed for innovation to occur?
3.3. Which process steps need to be implemented to adapt a sustainable innovation strategy?

4. Elements of the systematic implementation of the innovation model, based on Google Inc.
4.1. Executive Champions – Long Term Approach – Consistency
4.2. Operating Platform – Prosumer – Open Innovation
4.3. Cooperation – Mashups – Infrastructure – Acquisition
4.4. Innovation Culture – Employment Structure – Hard Work

5. Critical review

List of references III

List of figures

Figure 1: Framework how innovation occurs

Figure 2: Innovation management process

1. Introduction

Spotify, Apple, and Deezer, destroyed Tower Records. Smartphones and tablets are close to replacing personal computers. Netflix streaming platform and infrastructure drove cinemas to bankruptcy.[1]

Fundamental disruptions like these, question conventional approaches for creating and guiding organizations. Forming new businesses, entering new markets, and increasing organizational effectiveness, occurs through the innovation and transformation processes. Corporations must be able to adapt and evolve, if they wish to survive. The ability to innovate is a source of sustainable competitive advantage.[2]

However, how is it possible for a company to breed innovation into the very bones of an organization, so that it becomes an ongoing, managed phenomenon? Is innovative thinking independent of external circumstances? Or, is there any method to its creativity? And what would an innovation model look like? The importance of innovation in regards to a businesses value is, without a doubt, the most meaningful and perhaps most essential aspect of a company. Innovation pays dividends for shareholders it drives growth and differentiation, motivates employees, opens new markets and captures customers’ attention, all while using much lower advertising budgets.[3]

One company that has clearly done something right in the past is Google. This company is a symbol for integrative IT-infrastructures and restructuring business architecture through: experimentation, improvisation, analytical decision making, participative product development, and other noteworthy modes of innovation. It uses an evaluation of ideas with an admittedly chaotic ideation process and a set of accurate, data-driven methods. Google’s culture fascinates even the brightest technical expertise. It has developed or acquired an array of new offerings to augment the core search product. Its expansion, profitability, and shareholder equity, are at unmatched levels. It has been the designer, or a leading exponent of new paths to business and management innovation.[4]

These are the main reasons why Google is a great allegory of innovation and a profound example of a successful integrated innovation management approach.[5]

The purpose of this essay, based on Adapa Srinivasa Rao’s case study, “Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Google, Inc.” is to build a bridge between the company’s methods and the theoretical framework that abstractly enables and drives innovation in the corporate environment.

The study begins, by explaining the differences in terms, followed by the innovation strategies and their processes. Then, the systematic implementation of the innovation model (based on Google Inc.) is described; finished by a critical review.

As there is ongoing intensive scientific research in regards to the topic of innovation management, this paper cannot guarantee topicality and completeness; however, it will accurately analyze and connect specific practices, with theory, based on the predetermined limited scale of the essay.

2. Delineation of concepts

The following terms are not interchangeable. It would not only be incorrect, but miss the key subtleties in meaning, that can change how companies work on them.

2.1. Innovation

Innovation has various definitions. It comes from the Latin word innovatus, which means 'to renew or change' and is made up of two words: in which means "into" and novus, which means "new." So, to innovate is to go into the new. This means the focus should be the novelty and newness of a process itself. The European Commission, Green Paper on innovation, defines innovation rather broadly as a synonym for “...the successful production, assimilation and exploitation of novelty in the economic and social spheres”.[6]

Among the various descriptions of Innovation, it has also been defined as a process including: any policy, structure method, product or any market opportunity that is perceived as new by the manager of an innovating unit.[7]

However, in all of the various definitions of innovation, what still does not fit perfectly is the concept of “newness”. Diverse descriptions recommend that innovation is, in and of itself, about the successful adoption of change and new ideas, to see things differently, to move away from the traditional methodologies; yet, what is still unclear, is the perpetual question of what in turn defines success.[8] To cross-reference the delineations to practical realities, one could also simplify it to: “Creativity: the thinking of novel and appropriate ideas. Innovation: the successful implementation of those ideas within an organization.”[9]

As a result of lack in definitional clarity, the definition “Innovationen sind alle diejenigen Produkte oder Verfahren, die innerhalb einer Unternehmung erstmalig eingeführt werden“[10] finds application within this essay. As a matter of scale for this essay, typologies of innovations cannot be depicted.[11]

2.2. Corporate Entrepreneurship

It is the process by which teams within an established company: conceive, foster, launch and manage a new business that is distinct from the parent company but leverages the parent’s assets, market position, capabilities or other resources. External partners and capabilities are often involved. Corporate entrepreneurship is more than just new product development or process change. It often includes innovations in services, channels; brands etc., meaning the tools of corporate entrepreneurship are often just a small part within an integrated innovation strategy.[12] ideas,

2.3. Invention

Invention is often viewed as a source of economic growth. One could disagree though, as it is the innovation that generates new products, new services, new business processes and new jobs.

Invention is a “new scientific or technical idea, and the means of its embodiment or accomplishment. To be patentable, an innovation must be novel, have utility, and be non-obvious. To be called an invention, an idea only needs to be proven as workable”.[13] The concept of the idea is the actual invention. Innovation is the consequent translation of the invention into the business world. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand: A new idea by itself is no invention. It’s rather, a collection of thoughts. The process of converting this idea into a tangible new artefact depicts an invention.[14]

3. Innovation strategies and its processes

The following explanations and descriptions are significant to be able to understand why Google acts as it acts. It will help to build up a theoretical framework.

3.1. Why is an integrated innovation strategy necessary?

A strategy is a commitment to a set of coherent, mutually reinforcing policies or behaviors aimed at achieving a specific competitive goal. Businesses must have a strategy that methodically aligns their innovation efforts with their goals.

It needs to clarify objectives and priorities. However, firms rarely articulate an integrated strategy to align their innovation efforts with their business strategies. Efforts concerning innovation improvements should never become a grab bag of much-touted best practices: dividing R&D into decentralized autonomous teams, spawning internal entrepreneurial ventures, setting up corporate venture-capital arms, embracing open innovation and crowdsourcing, collaborating with customers et cetera.[15]

There is nothing wrong with that, however the overall capacity for innovation stems from an integrated innovation system itself. That’s the only sustainable alternative. Other singular approaches would just aim for a short-term success. However, these ideas combined with an innovative cultural synthesis create novel ideas, sustainable for a business concept and product design. Different perspectives are critical to a successful innovation process. But without a strategy to integrate and align those perspectives around common priorities, the cohesion of diversity is reduced or, worse, becomes self-defeating.[16]

3.2. Which elements are needed for innovation to occur?

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: Framework how innovation occurs.[17]

Innovation can be a very complex process. Many steps can be involved in generating an idea and bringing it to fruition. To be able to think about this process, it is useful to break it into distinguished elements, developing a clear theoretical understanding of how innovation occurs.[18]

The overview above includes an economic perspective of a business management strategy in regards to the perspective of organizational behavior that attempts to look at the internal activities involved. It also recognizes that firms cooperate, compete and trade with each other. Furthermore, there is the individual within the firm whom affects innovation.[19]

The extent of a company exhausting and combining these elements, determines whether an innovational business strategy succeeds or fails.

3.3. Which process steps need to be implemented to adapt a sustainable innovation strategy?

When considering innovation management and knowing that the very beginning of its process is fundamental for the innovation performance, it is necessary to take a look at the implementation stages depicted by a study of AT Kearney.

The following characteristics may be categorized as a best-practice, as these traits were covered by innovation leaders.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 2: Innovation management process.[20]

The primary step is certainly defined by having developed a goal-oriented innovation strategy. Most of the innovation leaders, have one or more strong executive champion(s) who drive(s) and co-develop(s). They act as sponsors of innovation, and encourage the entire organization to think beyond their current status.[21]

Additionally, innovation leaders invest significantly more time to deploying and enforcing as well as to developing and refining, their company-wide innovation strategies. An entrepreneurial spirit needs to be integrated. Innovation leaders, apply search fields to transfer toward developing the innovation vision into a reality. Forecasting customers’ future needs and characterizing a new group of expected customers may advance innovation. A successful innovation strategy consists of clear operational targets and timing, acceptable budgets and an understanding of estimated advantages.[22]

The innovation strategy must form the basis for an innovation-aimed corporate culture. The vision needs to be visible and accepted.

The step “idea generation” is defined by being assisted by open- innovation methods. These create a system of information exchange, gaining a knowledge-transfer benefit. Ideas are pulled together from many sources, resulting in a competitive advantage as each contributor shows a different and valuable perspective. They collect ideas from many sources as well as from broad arrays of partners. Last but not least, is the employing of the Internet and capturing of information on a global scale.[23]

[...]


[1] Cf. Mulligan, 2015, pp. 259 f.

[2] Cf. Trott, 2012, p. 4.

[3] Cf. Christiansen, 2000, p. XVii.

[4] Cf. Iyer/Davenport, 2008, p. 58.

[5] Alphabet Inc., 2016.

[6] European Commission, 1995, p. 1.

[7] Cf. Nohria/Gulati, 1996, p. 1246.

[8] Cf. Johannessen/Olsen/Lumpkin, 2001, pp. 24 f.

[9] Zairi/Duggan, 1999, pp. 73 f.

[10] Hauschildt/Salomo, 2011, p. 20.

[11] For further research: Trott, 2012.

[12] Cf. Wolcott/Lippitz, 2007, pp. 76 f.

[13] Greer Jr, 2013, p. 59.

[14] Cf. Trott, 2012, p. 15.

[15] Cf. Pisano, 2015, pp. 45 f.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Cf. Troll, 2012, p.9.

[18] Cf. Christiansen, 2000, p. 70.

[19] Cf. Troll, 2012, p.8.

[20] Ebert/Chandra/Liedke, 2008, p. 3.

[21] Cf. Grimpe, 2015, p. 57.

[22] Cf. Ebert/Chandra/Liedke, 2008, p. 5.

[23] Cf. Ebert/Chandra/Liedke, 2008, pp. 6-7.

Excerpt out of 19 pages

Details

Title
Strategies and systematic implementation of innovation management for sustainable business success
Subtitle
An analysis of Google Inc.
College
EBC University Düsseldorf
Grade
1,0
Author
Year
2016
Pages
19
Catalog Number
V338066
ISBN (eBook)
9783668274600
ISBN (Book)
9783668274617
File size
965 KB
Language
English
Tags
Innovation Management, Alphabet, Google, Sustainability
Quote paper
Dennis Maurer (Author), 2016, Strategies and systematic implementation of innovation management for sustainable business success, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/338066

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