Assignment: “Discontinuous Innovation
Recently the CEO of a company, an OEM for the light bulb industry, attended a business seminar where everyone agreed that “there is a potential threat of disruption from new Light Emitting Diode (LED) technologies”. Moreover, the CEO was told that “Many incumbent firms find it hard to spot or respond adequately to the threat of disruption, which often leads to loss of market share and in some cases total failure.”
The CEO decided to appoint an innovation
consultant to help the firm understand what discontinuous or disruptive innovation
is and how it could affect the company. The CEO also wants to know how his company should respond to the potential threat of being disrupted.
You are required to take the role of the innovation
In your report you should:
A. Discuss what discontinuous and/or disruptive innovation
is and whether or not it is likely to affect the firm you are a consultant for.
B. Suggest how the firm should respond to the possibility of disruption
Your brief involves desk research.
You might consider areas such as R&D, Marketing activities, technology strategy, organisation, but it should be related to new product development
Other terms: radical innovation
, breakthrough innovation
, high technology
Refereed journal papers
e.g. Journal of Product Innovation
Management, Technovation, R&D Management, Journal of Marketing etc
Also general ones like Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Harvard Business Review, Organization Science etc
You are required to review the relevant literature on successful product innovation
factors. You are expected to consider at least 6 different sources on successful product development, comprising refereed articles from the library (sources such as books, practitioners’ reports, non-refereed periodicals and internet sites will not be accepted in this 6, but can be included in addition).
The core text for this unit is:
Smith, David. (2006). Exploring Innovation
, McGraw-Hill Education, ISBN 0-07-710861-2
Other useful reading material
Trott P (2005) Innovation
Management and New Product Development, 3rd ed, FT/Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-273-68643-7
Crawford M and di Benedetto A (2005) New Products Management, 8th edition, McGraw Hill
Cooper R G, Edgett S J and Kleinschmidt E J (2001) Portfolio Management for New Products, 2nd ed, Perseus Publishing, ISBN 0-7382-0514-1
Maital S and Seshardi D (2007) Innovation
Management: Strategies, concepts and tools for growth and profit, Sage, ISBN 0-7619-3527-4
? Not attending lectures
? Not referencing academic journals or only 1 or 2
? Not using a wide range of references from different journals, text books and the internet
? Over-reliance on internet sources – use just for company information
• Appendices can be used to include detailed diagrams if needed. Appendices and references sections do not count towards the overall word count.
• Word limit 2000 words.
(a) GUIDELINES FOR REPORT WRITING
A written report is used to present the analysis, discussion and recommendations for a given question, problem situation or case study. A report is a formal document that follows a specific style and structure. In real business life reports are used to support the decision making process within organisations. In such cases where alternative courses of actions compete for a share of the company’s resources, a well-documented and structured report may be your only means for attracting the attention of the decision-maker. Bear in mind that decision makers have limited time to spend on each report and therefore an easy to follow structure, clarity of the report and relevance to the problem situation have paramount importance.
The accepted style for report writing is outlined below.
The main difference between a report and an essay is the layout. Reports are designed to be easily and quickly absorbed by the reader. So, they are laid out schematically and everything is headed, sub-headed, numbered and labelled. This helps you to develop a logical structure and the readers to make sense of the material you present to them.
1. Title page: should reflect the content of the report; use two or three lines if necessary.
2. Executive summary: this is a very important part of the report. It should include a brief summary of each main section of the report and a clear statement of the purpose of the report (objectives) and a summary of the conclusions and recommendations.
3. Contents: this is a list of the main sections of the report, headings and sub-headings, and the pages on which the reader can find them.
4. Introduction: this part of the report provides background information to the work that the report discusses. It includes details such as why the work was done, what the problem was, who authorised the work and what similar work has been done in the past within the organisation. Clear aims and objectives are paramount. Beware that aims lead to objectives and objectives lead to research questions which when taken together with the conceptual framework allow you to list the types of information you need in order to make a decision.
5. Analysis and interpretation: this is the main and longest body of the report so will need to be divided up. Here you need to classify parts of the discussion and devise appropriate headings and subheadings. Your discussion should be navigated by the research questions you stated in the introduction section.
6. Conclusions: this part of the report provides a clear account of the conclusions. Your discussion here should be navigated by the objectives of your project. It often involves repeating statements that have appeared elsewhere in the report but this part involves synthesis rather than more analysis.
7. Recommendations: this part provides a higher level of synthesis and creative thinking since it reflects your ability to relate your conclusions to the overall aim of the project e.g. to improve the service quality of an organisation. Recommendations refer to future actions and should be grounded to the findings of your study. You are not allowed to make general recommendations that you cannot justify on the basis of the information you collected, analysed and interpreted in the report.
8. List of references: this part provides a list of sources (e.g. books, journal papers, reports, Internet addresses, magazines, lecture notes etc.) that you have consulted to produce your report. BEWARE of the right style for referencing your sources
9. Appendices: this part often includes information in the form of tables, chars, illustrations etc., that is not essential for the first reading of the report but that it supports points raised and actions taken in the report and its undertaking. Be careful in making the choice of what to include in the report and what to put in an appendix. If, for example, a table or diagram illustrated the results it may be more ‘reader friendly’ to include it near to the text that it supports rather than in an appendix.
Overall a report reflects your ability for creative/critical analysis and synthesis. Move from aim to objectives to research questions, make use of a relevant method/conceptual framework and ground your analysis and interpretation to the research questions in order to show your analytical skills. Move from research questions to objectives to the main aim and relate your conclusions and recommendation to the objectives and aim of your project respectively in order to provide evidence of your ability for synthesis i.e. bringing together relevant information to make sound recommendations for the problem in question.
(b) ASSESSMENT CRITERIA FOR THIS REPORT AND WEIGHTS
Clarity of overall aim
Clear key results and conclusions
Clear recommendations 10%
States clearly aim and objectives
Provides assumptions made
Outlines structure of the report 5%
Critical discussion of relevant literature
Depth of literature reviewed
Coverage of relevant literature/number of references used
Alignment with stated aim and objectives
Critical and purposeful presentation of findings 35%
Conclusions and recommendations
Synthesis of key results
Clear managerial recommendations/suggestions 30%
Correct use of references (with text and at the end)
Easy to follow
Use of subheading for signposting
Good quality tables/figures/diagrams 20%
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