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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 17 - Managing Technology and Innovation Chapter 17 MANAGING TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION KEY STUDENT QUESTIONS Student questions for this chapter tend to deal with the day-to-day pragmatic issues associated with managing technology and innovation. For example: 1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of developing new technologies within the company? . 2. What is the best way to keep up with rapid changes in the business environment? 3. As a manager, what can I do to develop an innovative organization? Answers to Student Questions 1. The advantages to developing new technologies include: 1 st mover advantages, little or no competition, greater efficiency, higher profit margins, the possibility of creating a sustainable advantage, gaining a reputation for innovation, establishing entry barriers that competitors will have to overcome, occupying new market niches, and creating opportunities to team with other innovators. The disadvantages include assuming greater risk, the cost of technology development, the infrastructure costs, the costs of learning and eliminating defects, and possible cannibalization of existing products. 2. The best way to keep up with rapid changes in the business environment is to dedicate resources to monitoring change on a regular basis, and then to use forecasting and innovation to try and stay ahead of the changes. In addition, companies must constantly upgrade the skills of their employees, and allow them the freedom to engage in continuous learning and improvement. At the same time, it is important to use regular monitoring in order to make sure that changes made in response to changes in the environment are working effectively. 3. As a manager, you can provide an environment conducive to innovation. The textbook cites 3Ms rules for an innovative culture, which include: setting goals for innovation; committing to research and development; inspiring intrapreneurship; facilitating, rather than obstructing, work; focusing on the customer; and tolerating failure. CLASS PREWORK ASSIGNMENT Have students read the Mason, Inc. scenario in Experiential Exercise 17.1, and develop an individual plan for improving creativity and innovation at the company. Then use class time to have students meet in groups, compare their answers, and complete the rest of the assignment. USING THE UNFOLDING CASE HOW DOES STEVE JOBS MANAGE APPLES STRING OF INNOVATONS? It wont take much to get students interested in this case. Simply ask students to raise their iPods (or other digital music players) in the air. That will show the class how prevalent Steve Jobs technology is. Next, ask everyone that wants an iPhone to raise their hands. And thats how much market exists for Jobs current products!...
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This note was uploaded on 11/05/2009 for the course MGMT MGMT 330J taught by Professor Kinbonine during the Spring '09 term at Columbia College.

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