Innovation can be defined as a process that starts from a new concept or idea and ends with its introduction into the market.
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According to Roy Rothwell, the models of innovation have evolved over time from the simple linear models advocated in the 1960s to the more complex and interactive models of the present day. In fact, Rothwell’s fifth generation innovation concept considers innovation at a multi-actor, multi-level integration within as well as among firms. This is made possible by using IT networking tools.
The linear models of innovation used earlier made use of the ‘push’ and the ‘pull’ models. In this model, the linear sequence of functional activities was considered important. Whenever a new concept was born from research, it was implemented after improvements and it was ‘pushed’ into the market when an opportunity presented itself. On the other hand, innovations were also made when the needs of the markets were perceived and the new product or process is made to adapt to this market need. This is the ‘pull’ model. Both these linear models are dependent on the proper matching and pairing process and the innovation can only succeed when the push and the pull are matched perfectly. Otherwise there is an element of risk in trying to comprehend the complex and uncertain phenomena.
There are also other models of innovation such as the Corporate Model and the Entrepreneurship Model. Corporate Models are those innovations made by the large firms that already exist. Entrepreneurship Models are the innovations introduced by new firms that enter the market. Corporate firms have larger capital, technologically skilled staff, strategic alliances, well developed organizational structure and business process as well as an already established brand presence when compared to the new entrants. Moreover, the smaller size and the newness tend to work against the entrepreneur model.
On the other hand the mobility of the resources and the re-deployment of the existing resources are difficult in an established corporate model. The reallocation of resources is fraught with difficulties arising from the restructured process as well as from the managers who resent the changing responsibilities. Additionally, the innovations are possible only with good incentives, large financial outlay and a remarkable amount of effort. This leads to the slowdown of the innovative process. As such, the newer and faster entrepreneurs will be able to make use of the market opportunity in a relatively shorter time that it is available.