Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Master's January 2002

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Innovation has rapidly assumed a position of prominence in world competition on a global scale. To compete in this environment, organizations need a level of innovation. As competition becomes more global and time-based, organizations must develop and deliver new and superior products, or services in less time. The challenge for modern organizations is to revitalize them so they can successfully and continuously develop newer products and enhance business development.

Innovation is a new idea applied to initiating or improving a product, process or service. So all innovations involve change but not all changes necessarily involve new ideas or lead to significant improvements. Innovation in organizations can range from small incremental improvements to radical breakthroughs such as the bookstore on the Internet. Although radical advances are important to many organizations, incremental improvements also can be advantageous. Japanese companies, in particular, have become known for their ability to enhance products and services through a variety of small incremental improvements.

For example, the Japanese based Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, which improved glass lens for use in projection televisions, and several laser based products like compact disc players. Thus a relatively modest goal led to a rapidly expanding market share for the Matsushita lens, particularly for use in compact disc players.

In order to understand the innovation process, various stages and components of innovation through which innovation progresses have to be viewed.

Components of Innovation Motivation to Innovate Just as individual creativity requires that people be motivated to do what it takes to be creative, organizational innovation requires that organizations have the kind of cultures that encourage innovation. When top executives fail to promote a vision of innovation and accept the status quo, change is unlikely. Companies such as Matsushita where leaders envision innovation as being part of the natural order of...