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Csr in Europe

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Brunel Business School Draft Working Paper: November 2006

Innovation: Basic Concepts and Models
By S. N. Nasirpourosgoei and A-M Coles

For many firms the development of new products is a major business activity, although Ettlie (2006) points out that many new products are merely copies or imitations of existing ones. The study of innovation is concerned with identifying how firms use their existing knowledge and technical resources to develop goods, processes and services that are significantly novel. Innovation is often seen as a key driver of economic growth for a country and increased firm productivity (Gann, 2003 cited in Abbott and Jeong, 2006). Trott (2005) demonstrates that the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century was fuelled by technological innovations, while Abbott and Jeong (2006) argue that there is now increasing emphasis on the importance of innovation for long-term economic success. At an organisational level, specific benefits include such factors as market growth, reductions in production cost, competitive positioning and opening up of new markets (Slaughter, 1998). For Ettlie the key questions in the study of innovation relate to the way some firms can utilise individual creativity in innovation more successfully than others. Innovation is has become a vital part of business survival and is supported by much academic study into reasons for its success and failure, for example, in 1994 – 1995, 275 books published in the US had the word ‘innovation’ in their title (Trott 2005). This paper will explore the underlying definitions, concepts and models that provide and introduction to understanding the study of innovation.

Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2003) argue that managers are under pressure to create value in competitive business environments where traditional solutions such as cost reduction, reengineering and outsourcing have a...

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