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Rethinking the innovation process in large organizations: a case study of 3M

Опубликовано на портале: 17-08-2004
Journal of Engineering and Technology Management. 2000.  No. 17.
In this case study, the authors propose a model to foster and sustain innovation in a large corporation. Despite the successful business track record that large corporations invariably show, their sheer size sometimes hinders their ability to respond rapidly to changes in technology, market, and consumer preference. It also affects their ability to innovate consistently. Presented model builds on recent theoretical advances in the understanding of the innovation process, placing a strong emphasis on the need for people to interact across business units. The authors also defend the need for a formal recognition of the people involved in transferring technology from the concept stage to the commercial application phase. Significant parts of prsented argument are based on the experience of one of the authors in a large corporation. The authors begin the paper with an assessment of current perspectives on the innovation process, identifying the lack of a descriptive or normative model that can guide large corporations in the improvement of their innovation performance. Building on the experience of a specific project developed at 3M, which incorporates organizational novelties aimed at improving the process of technology transfer, the authors conclude with a new model to foster innovation in a large corporation.
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