Technology, innovation and management
Technology, innovation and management

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Technology, innovation and management

5.6 Fourth-generation innovation

The third-generation model of the innovation process may have contained challenges but as Rothwell (1994, p. 10) notes, it ‘was seen by most western companies, certainly up until the mid 1980s or so, as presenting best practice.’ Nevertheless, by the mid 1980s a further refinement of the model was necessary as Western organisations increasingly realised that the key features of the innovation process in leading Japanese companies – and thus one of the primary reasons for the commercial success of Japanese companies – were integration and parallel development. That involved integrating ‘suppliers into the new product development process at an early stage while at the same time integrating the activities of the different in-house departments involved, who work on the project simultaneously (in parallel) rather than sequentially (in series).’ (Rothwell, 1994, p. 12). Therefore, integration and parallel development become the basis of the fourth-generation model of the innovation process (Figure 5).

Figure 5 Fourth-generation innovation process (Source: Dodgson et al., 2008)
T848_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus