18.1 MTI—Its Importance Now and In the Future
- What do we mean by management of technology and innovation (MTI), and why is it crucial?
Management of technology and innovation is critical to the organization. Because of innovations and new technologies, we have historically seen the emergence of innovative organizational structures and new ways of performing work. The management of technology involves the planning, implementation, evaluation, and control of the organization’s resources and capabilities in order to create value and competitive advantage. Management of innovation includes both change management and managing organizational processes that encourage innovation.
18.2 Developing Technology and Innovation
- How do organizations develop technology and innovation?
There are four things the firm should do to balance the conflicting demands of being agile in a dynamic environment. These are: design systems and processes, identify communication needs and efficiently turn data into information, develop employees through training and learning, and use good change management processes. There are three basic organizational processes—buying and partnering, developing newness within the firm, and entrepreneurially exploiting a space in the environment.
18.3 External Sources of Technology and Innovation
- What are external sources of technology and innovation development, and when are they best used?
The external processes for developing and acquiring technology and innovation include a variety of options. They are most successfully used under the following circumstances:
- The product line or the processes of the firm have fallen behind those of its competitors.
- A new entrant into the market of the industry has changed the competitive dynamics.
- A firm believes that its product mix or way of doing things is not going to be successful in the long run.
The most common types of external processes used to enhance technology and innovation in a firm include: mergers/acquisitions (M&A), joint ventures, franchise agreements, licensing agreements, and formal and informal contracts.
18.4 Internal Sources of Technology and Innovation
- What are internal sources of technology and innovation development, and when are they best used?
The most common type of internal process for technology and innovation in the organization is research and development (R&D). R&D involves the seeking and developing of new technologies, products, and/or processes through creative efforts within the firm. The disadvantages of R&D are that it is usually slower and more costly and can be disrupted by the departure of key personnel.
18.5 Management Entrepreneurship Skills for Technology and Innovation
- How and why do entrepreneurs develop MTI skills?
For an entrepreneurial firm, the value proposition is a key factor. New business entities (a type of entrepreneurial activity) are usually more flexible and agile in the marketplace; however, the failure rate for new entrepreneurial firms is high. Entrepreneurs, by definition, are more agile than the more-established organizations. Agility is crucial within large firms that want to continue to be entrepreneurial in their activities.
18.6 Skills Needed for MTI
- No matter what method is used, what skills do you need to successfully manage technology and innovation?
There are two skills the organization must develop to be successful—the ability to manage learning and knowledge processes, and the ability to analyze and forecast future trends. Individual skills that are critical to the organization’s success include leadership/followship and creative thinking. There are two types of knowledge that must be managed: explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge.
18.7 Managing Now for Future Technology and Innovation
- How do you look into the future to keep pace?
To keep pace with changes in technology and to keep up with needed innovation processes, individuals within the firm must keep track of what competitors are doing as well as what inventions or discoveries may usurp an industry’s place in the market. This is an external process, and that involves scanning the environment.