Introduction to SMofTI Book

Introduction to SMofTI Book - Introduction to Strategic...

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Introduction to Strategic Management of Technological Innovation (Copyright © 2009, Robert Boehner and John E. Ettlie, all rights reserved, no part of this document may be reproduced by any means, mechanical, electronic or otherwise, without the written permission of the authors) Why is the study of strategic management of technological innovation important to graduate business students? The simple and obvious answer is because technological innovation is a key enabler of both corporate success and the success of national economies in the 21 st century. But there are three other compelling reasons why studying the management of technological innovation is important: Creating successful technological innovations is difficult: Achieving economic value from the firm’s investments in technological innovation is daunting challenge—for individuals, groups, organizations, industries, and countries. Managers often view technological innovation as a “black art” – arcane technical activities performed by lone technical specialists. Most of the management process and tools taught in leading MBA programs to not address the unique challenges of managing technological innovation. Business Week In July 2009, Business Week reported on the 10 technologies that in 2000 appeared poised to deliver substantial returns to their practitioners but have delivered disappointing results. Even when everything goes right, there is still risk involved in the development and introduction of new products, processes and services. The preferences of customers can change quickly, new, hidden competitors may emerge, and, of course, technological surprises are often the rule rather than the exception in a development effort. Technology leadership does not necessarily deliver superior business results: Many firms that were technology leaders ultimately failed to gain significant 1
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economic value from this leadership. Xerox’s failure successfully to commercialize the innovations developed at its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) during the last quarter of the 20 th century is a well documented example of fumbling opportunities in spite of technology leadership. Each of these four topics (technological innovation as an enabler of corporate success, the ineffective management of technological innovation, the poor performance of leading technological innovators, and the challenge or realizing economic return from technological innovations) will be addressed in this book. We will review these topics in summary in this preface. Technology innovation is an enabler of corporate success: The popular business press tends to think that technological innovation manifest itself in end-user products such as the latest electronic gizmos, or new feature/functions on everyday products such as cars or appliances, or breakthroughs in medical science, or fantastic new military weapons. The press is not entirely wrong – great new products from Apple, BMW, Whirlpool, GE Imaging, and the defense industry are indeed
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This note was uploaded on 11/19/2011 for the course COB 0104-722 taught by Professor Wollan during the Fall '10 term at RIT.

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Introduction to SMofTI Book - Introduction to Strategic...

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