Consistent success in technology innovation in today’s market place, in my opinion, is largely a matter of corporate management strategy. By contrast, those companies which have occasional success usually make good use of one or more market factors which is favourable to them, and turn it into an one-time successful strategy. Corporate management for keeping on successfully innovating is most visible in certain firms like 3M, who depend on continuous innovation and sustained quality improvement as their main business strategy. The other factors mentioned in the list like protection of intellectual property rights, technical capabilities of the workforce, availability of capital, accessing market intelligence, market demand for new technology and social values are important, but only as parts of the overall management strategy.
Ali (1994) also stresses the impact of several factors in influencing product development decisions in today’s market place. Companies ideally should formulate a strategy incorporating all the factors listed above, consider their own strengths and resources and examine current market factors before deciding what market it should focus its innovative efforts into. Quite often, innovation is part of a company’s overall marketing strategy, and it has considerable choice in this process. The choice of an appropriate strategy is of crucial importance for any company’s success, be it short-term or in the long run, but it is vital that it can successfully adapt itself to the continually changing market conditions. This process of adaptation itself dictates the choices it makes with regard to its strategic direction – acquiring capital, training a workforce, respond to the market’s needs for new technology, compete and fight for intellectual property rights and gather market intelligence which allows it to do so. Consistency in this process of ‘incremental innovation’ (Ali 1994) leads not only to survival, but also growth.
Ali (1994), “Pioneering versus incremental innovation: review and research propositions”, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Vol. 11 No.1, pp.46-61.