Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sustaining Innovation: The Challenge for Incumbents

We have another paper ready for submission to a journal – “Sustaining Innovation: The Challenge for Incumbents”. The authors of the paper are Ashley Braganza (Cranfield University, UK), Yukika Awazu (Bentley College), and Kevin Desouza (University of Washington)


In today’s competitive environment, the ability of an organization to innovate is considered paramount. While most organizations have flashes or spurts of innovation, only a handful of organizations have been able to innovate on a continuous and sustained basis. In this paper, we report on the challenges faced by firms when trying to build sustainable innovation programs. These findings have been deduced from an examination of innovation programs in over 30 organizations based in the North America, Europe, and Asia.

In the paper we analyze issues such as the inhibitors of innovation (e.g. pursuit of stability, risk avoidance, bounded by experience, lack of requisite variety, etc). In addition, we outline several interventions, including the portfolio approach to allocating resources for innovation, training managers to be innovators, communicating the value of innovation, among others.

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