Technological innovation: a resource-based view
Technological innovation: a resource-based view

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Technological innovation: a resource-based view

4.2 Physical technical systems

This is the most tangible part of a capability. The machines, databases and software acquired or developed over time are probably the only part of a capability that does not disappear once an organisation’s employees leave a building. The physical system is made up of many widely available machines, but some machines may have undergone development or modification within an organisation over time and so may not be available on an open market. These modifications are the result of learning within the organisation and are a way of embedding the knowledge gained. This makes the knowledge accessible into the future, even after the individuals involved leave.

The availability of physical systems to all organisations is complicated by the existence of patents and other restrictions on use. Many industrial processes may have their specifications clearly described within patent specifications, although in the public domain their use is restricted. This makes their imitation by competitors difficult. For this reason, some physical technical systems are kept secret, although it is worth noting that as the skills and knowledge required to utilise physical systems resides with employees, simply imitating a competitor’s ‘secret’ technology cannot guarantee gaining the competitor’s capability.


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 50 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, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 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 prospectus371