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Introducing technology and innovation management
Introducing technology and innovation management

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7 Additional ways to characterise innovations

In this course, we focus on types of product (goods/services), process and system innovations. Can you think of additional ways to describe innovations, for example:

  • the degree of novelty – are the technologies involved in innovation more incremental or more radical?
  • the level of innovation – what level of a system is an innovation at? For example, is it at the architectural or component level?
  • the impact of an innovation – does the innovation have disruptive or sustaining impacts on organisations, markets and in other contexts?
  • the form of innovation – what form does an innovation take in a real-world context? For example a social innovation is a form of innovation that will be shaped and defined by the social context.

Innovation cannot be simply understood in terms of the type of innovation or specific characteristics, but is instead more complex (Mitra, 2017). This complexity comes from the influence of people, technological, organisational and contextual (PTOC) factors that shape the form that an innovation takes.