Organizational Characteristics That Facilitate Innovation — Case of Apple and Google

Keywords: Types, sources and degree of innovation, Continuous Innovation and its principles, Framework for leveraging organisation development, S –Curve – Innovation lifecycles, Leadership and innovation management, Role of Leadership and S-curve, Organisation strategy and culture, Networking and knowledge management, Business Innovation assignment writing services

Introduction — Objective of research

Innovation refers to successful exploitation, creation and adoption of the new idea which translates into the profitable outcome. The companies who are committed to innovation are the better performer and market leaders in their respective industries (Vrontis & Thrassou, 2013).

The aim of this essay is to explore the organisational context of managing innovation within Google and Apple. Besides, the objective is to identify and discuss the factors as well as issues which affect the management of innovation within these companies. To explore the management of innovation, the two specific organisational characteristics examined in this essay is a ‘culture of the organisation’ and the ‘role of leadership in facilitating the innovation’ in the organisation.

Research Method

Research Question:

“Explore the organisational characteristics of managing innovation within Apple and Google through identifying and discussing the factors and issues that affect the management of innovation.”

The research strategy used for this study is based on case study approach. According to Yin (2013) case study approach is useful to answer the research questions which are based on what and how situation. Moreover, case study allows the search of knowledge, analyse and interpret the result and facilitate the consolidation of finding to draw results. Therefore, the selection of the case study approach is based on the need of this essay and availability of the information to answer the research question based on secondary data collection on Apple and Google (Blatter & Haverland, 2014).

Literature Review

Innovation is a response of the organisation to the continuous changing environment which helps the organisation remain profitable and maintain its competitive advantage. The innovation in an organisation does not occur without effective strategies along with framework (Soliman, 2013).

Chiva, et al (2014) discussed that innovation in an organisation is based on the interaction and codification of the social context and operating environment which enclosed Inter and Intra organisational relationship, organisational knowledge, individual knowledge (cognitive style, knowledge, motivation) and culture of the organisation. This literature specifies examines two aspects of the organisation which is culture and leadership are examined and explore to evaluate innovation in an organisation (Camison & Villar-Lopez, 2014).

Types, sources and degree of innovation

Schneider & Spieth (2013) analysed that The innovation in an organisation is divided into following types which are service innovation, product innovation, process innovation and organisational innovation. The common types of innovations are either based on the push or pull of the market or even supported by the technology in the organisation which further classified as radical, systematic and incremental.

The innovation which improves the processes of the organisation (newness to the company) involve exploitation of own process to do things in an effective manner whereas introducing new product or service in the market (newness to market) highlight the exploration capabilities of organisation by doing something differently than competitors as shown in the diagram below (Cooper, 2001, 2011).

Degree of Innovation and newness

Continuous Innovation and its principles

Martini et al (2013) stated that a company is innovative when it product and process have the ability to adapt to the external environment and continuously develop and implement products which meet or exceed the unexpressed needs of the stakeholders who determine the success or failure of the company. The continuous innovation involves adoption to constantly changing management and business models to develop new products and services and companies who fails to take the risk of innovative new products shows the limited capabilities for the innovation (Martini, et al., 2013).

Denning (2015) added that continuous innovation involves a holistic perspective of the organisation culture and leadership which facilitates the climate of the innovation through interaction between people. The principles of the continuous innovation in an organisation is based on the dynamic capabilities of the to adapt to continuous change, people-centric approach, the open organisation which network and ambidextrous organisation perspective (Steiber, 2014).

Framework for Leveraging organisation development

Maghsoudi, et al (2015) highlighted that innovation is a critical success factor for an organisation and it is important to innovate product, services and processes in both public and private organisations. Therefore, the culture of the organisation, leadership as well as its external environment plays an important role in that innovation is not stifled in an organisation. Organisation needs to balance between efficiency, productivity and control systems to achieve the motivation and expertise which facilitate innovation. The components of innovation for this study are shown in the diagram.

A continuous innovation framework

Organisation culture and innovation management

Organisational culture is define as the way in which members of the organisation related to each other and how the interact with external environment and stakeholders. Organisation culture and value is most important factor which defines the priorities and strategic decision of the organisation. Culture of organisation affects the innovation process and capabilities because culture reflects the values, beliefs and norms and i.e. valuable enabler of the innovation (Buschgens, et al., 2013).

O’Reilly & Tushman (2014) added that organisation culture effect the stimulus which facilitates the innovation and i.e. norms, values and belief affect the innovation process in an organisation either positively or negatively based on the attitude and behaviour of the employees. Market-orientated behaviour effect the innovativeness of organisation and management of innovation process involves developing creative potential of organisation through fostering factors which enable a culture to foster new ideas and generate creativity for profitable innovate products. Organisation culture facilitates the innovative culture in an organisation and increases readiness and acceptability of innovation (Garcia-Morales, et al., 2015).

S –Curve – Innovation lifecycles

Lee et al (2012) debated that S-curve is useful to highlight how product and services have evolved over time and helps to evaluate the opportunities to level the product map. S-curve is connected to the adoption of the rate of the market and beginning of the curve highlight the introduction of the product and end of the curve represent the obsolescence of the product or service in the market. High technology products move quickly along the S-curve compared to other consumer products. Nevertheless, the end of the S-curve marks the emergence of the new S-curve as shown in the diagram below (Adner & Kapoor, 2015).

Product Diffusion Curve - Technology adoption life cycle

Leadership and innovation management

Vaccaro et al (2012) studied the role of leadership is a significant factor to effectively manage and facilitate the innovation in the organisation. The three strategies leadership could adopt is first mover, latecomer and niche strategy which set the direction and provide basis for the innovation in an organisation. The role of leadership to manage the product and service in an organisation is evitable to manage the product and service spectrum and it represent formidable challenges (Denti & Hemlin, 2014).

The leadership attitude which is relatively inflexible stifle the innovation in an organisation and i.e. it is vital that leadership aligns the processes, people, and structures to reach the maturity level of respective business. Organisation at different stages of the S-curve requires different strategy and approach to organisation at mass adoption or mature market (Volberda, et al., 2013).

The Life Cycle Of Innovation In Business

Role of Leadership and S-curve

The role of the leadership at different stages based on the life cycle is summarised in the table below

Early adopters

Mass market adoptionMass Market

Late adopters

  • Leader provides environment for new business development
  • Motivation and subjective decision-making
  • Managing the high uncertainty situation and forecasting
  • Focus on the flexibility rather efficiency
  • Product and operation focus leadership
  • Manage efficiency and margin
  • Focus on customer satisfaction and big data decision making
  • Autonomy and multi-segment business decision-making
  • New business exploration and support risk taking through qualitative decision-making

Organisation strategy and culture

Innovation approached – Emerging companiesProcess Optimization – Mature Market
  • Company should anticipate the future need of the customers and focus on degree of newness to the market.
  • Focus should be on exploration of the new product along with freedom and flexibility
  • Emphasis on the knowledge management and reward experimentation
  • Exploit what could do better than competitors to meet the customer needs
  • Economies of scale through effective planning and evaluation of the business

 Importance of external environment

Networking and knowledge management

Liebowitz (2012) stated that network refers to the systematic deployment of the internal (management) and external stakeholders through communication, communication as well as co-ordination among the organisation and people. The use of the network is an effective source of knowledge for the organisation which facilitates the innovation. In today’s world, more organisations innovate in the network because of the global scale of knowledge and capital. The technology has facilitated the communication and knowledge transfer through the removal of subsidiaries as well as reduces the transaction cost (Hislop, 2013).

Networks are an important source of information, offer better learning opportunities in compared to hierarchies, deliver process and operational flexibility and consequently, the network is a vital source of tacit knowledge creation in an organisation (Jimenez-Jimenez, et al., 2014).

knowledge and innovation
knowledge and innovation

The network organisations are based on the explicit and implicit knowledge among the autonomous organisation which effectively deploy the core competencies and benefit from the market position. In the network, knowledge is acquired through experimentation and action which is based on routine and procedures share among the network members. The corporation is based on technology and human interaction which facilitate both exploitation and exploration in an organisation as shown in the diagram above (Cooper, 2001; Maghsoudi, et al., 2015)

The sources of innovation include changes in the industry, market regulations, demographic changes, new knowledge and these sources usually overlaps. Systematic innovation involves the analysis of new opportunities and situation analysis to the present solution to the problems and i.e. it is based on the diligence, knowledge and persistence approach of the organisation (Keupp, et al., 2012).

Networking and knowledge facilitate the culture which generates and implement new ideas, product and processes as norm and innovativeness allows the employees to engage and flourish the innovative environment (Hardwick, et al., 2013).

Case studies – Introduction

Apple

Innovation at apple is continuous and numbers of company products such as iPad, iPhone has significant market share as well as company continuous unveil new product and devices. Apple has a long history of introducing breakthrough products and innovation cycle of the company is relative stable. Leadership at apple during the era of ‘Steve Job’ and afterwards has successfully managed to extend the product life cycles.

Apple has the ability to exploration and exploitation relative higher as it continuous improves the product as well as the newness of the products in the market and remains market leader. The leadership of the company facilitates innovation through employee empowerment and diversity which develop a culture of innovation and flourish an environment to spark innovation (Muller, 2015).

Organisation culture and capabilities of Apple has successfully managed to adopt the new policies and strategies to respond to the external environment. The organisational culture of Apple is based on creativity and excellence as embedded by the Steve Job which supports innovativeness at Apple (Furseth Inge, et al., 2016).

The company has effectively developed the networks and collaborate to develop a network for knowledge management which consequently flourish the product development and development processes. Apple approach and factors are critically examined based on the literature to develop an understanding on innovativeness in the company (Reynolds, 2015).

Google

Google has adopted continuous innovation approach rather deploying conventional management philosophy. The internal perspective of Google for innovation is relatively unique as it challenges tradition hierarchical perspective of the organisation. The management model in Google is based on flat organisation structure, diverse culture and leadership which support the innovative climate in the organisation.

The external perspective of Google highlight combination of diverse skills, human capital, and networking and knowledge management processes in the company. The capabilities and culture of the Google to develop and integrate the internal and external competencies and stakeholder is the critical success factor (Teece, 2010).

The leadership respond of the Google to continuous changing environment through strategy and culture has helped to facilitate innovation in an organisation and act as pioneer. The experimentation and knowledge management has allowed exchanging the information rather conventional techniques of planning and control has allowed proactive approach through managing innovation in an organisation.

Additionally, networking approach of Google is useful to integrate and sharing information which set norm and culture of innovation management. Therefore, Google approach and factors are critically examined based on the literature to develop an understanding on innovativeness in the company (Cusumano, 2010; Steiber, 2014).

Analysis and evaluation – Case studies

Apple

According to Chiva et al (2014), innovation in an organisation is based on the interaction and codification of the social context and operating environment. Apple culture and capabilities have successfully managed to adopt the new policies and strategies to respond to the external environment. Cooper 2011 argued that innovation which improves the processes of the organisation involve exploitation of own process to do things in an effective manner whereas introducing the new product. The degree of innovativeness is relatively higher at

Apple has continuous and numbers of company products such as iPad, iPhone have significant market share as well as company continuous unveil new product and devices. Apple has positioned itself for continuous innovation involves adoption to constantly changing the business environment to develop new products and services and the company takes the risk of innovative new products such as iwatch which enable to remains it position as market leader and sustain competitive advantage. Apple has a long history of introducing breakthrough products and innovation cycle of the company is relative stable.

Buschgens et al (2013) added that Culture of organisation affects the innovation process and capabilities because culture reflects the values, beliefs and norms and i.e. valuable enabler of the innovation and act as pioneer. Apple culture effect the stimulus which facilitates the innovation and i.e. norms, values and belief affect the innovation process in an organisation either positively or negatively based on the attitude and behaviour of the employees.

The organisational culture of Apple is based on creativity and excellence as embedded by the Steve Job which supports innovativeness at Apple. The leadership of the company facilitates innovation through employee empowerment and diversity which develop a culture of innovation and flourish an environment to spark innovation.

According to Hislop (2013), networks are an important source of information, offer better learning opportunities in compared to hierarchies and better. Apple has effectively developed the networks and collaborates to develop a network for knowledge management which consequently flourish the product development and development processes. Apple culture to foster new ideas and generate creativity for profitable innovate products.

Lee, et al (2012) indicated that S-curve is connected to the adoption of the rate of the market and beginning of the curve highlight the introduction of the product and end of the curve represent the obsolescence of the product or service in the market. Apple has the ability to exploration and exploitation relative higher as it continuous improves the product as well as the newness of the products in the market and remains the market leader.

Volberda et al (2013) discussed the role of leadership to manage the product and service in an organisation is evitable to manage the product and service spectrum and it represent formidable challenges. Leadership at apple during the era of ‘Steve Job’ and afterwards has successfully managed to extend the product life cycles. The organisational culture and strategy of Apple are based on creativity and excellence as embedded by the Steve Job which supports innovativeness at Apple. Apple anticipates the future need of the customers and focuses on the degree of newness to the market.

Google

According to Denning (2015), continuous innovation involves a holistic perspective of the organisation culture and leadership which facilitates the climate of the innovation. Google has adopted continuous innovation approach rather deploying conventional management philosophy.

O’Reilly & Tushman (2013) culture and value is most important factor which defines the priorities and strategic decision of the organisation. Google internal viewpoint for innovation is relatively unique as it challenges tradition hierarchical perspective of the organisation. Google culture facilitates the innovative culture in an organisation and increases readiness and acceptability of innovation based on internal capabilities facilitates the innovative culture in an organisation and increases readiness and acceptability of innovation.

Adner & Kapoor (2015) elaborated that S-curve is useful to highlight how product and services have evolved over time and helps to evaluate the opportunities to level the product map. Google management model is based on flat organisation structure, diverse culture and leadership which support the innovative climate in the organisation.

Garcia-Morales et al (2012) suggest that norms, values and belief affect the innovation process in an organisation and develop attitude and behaviour of the employees. Google capabilities are a combination of diverse skills, human capital, and networking and knowledge management processes in the company. Google has successfully managed to integrate the internal and external competencies which have helped to continuously innovation of new products and services and improve products such as chrome and YouTube through the exploitation of own process.

According to Nunes & Breene (2013), managing the high uncertainty situation and forecasting is the important skill of the leadership. The role of leadership to manage the product and service in an organisation is evitable to manage the product and service spectrum and it represent formidable challenges. Google leadership respond through continuous innovation to the dynamic business environment through strategy and culture has helped to facilitate innovation in an organisation and as a market leader.

Google is focusing on the process optimisation and introduced the improved products such as an update for chrome and improve services. The exploration capability of Google is high such as the introduction of Google drive and Google Analytics. The experimentation and knowledge management has allowed exchanging the information rather conventional techniques of planning and control has allowed proactive approach through managing innovation in an organisation.

Liebowitz (2012) focused on the use of the network is an effective source of knowledge for the organisation which facilitates the innovation. Google has effectively used the Networking approach is useful to integrate and sharing information which set norm and culture of innovation management.

Conclusion

The result of the analysis shows that both Apple and Google have continuous innovation culture and market leader in respective industries. Apple has innovative climate supported by its leadership based on culture which allowed employees to contribute towards the innovativeness of Apple. The capabilities and organisation culture at Apple has allowed adapting to the external environment.

Apple has effectively developed the networks and collaborates to develop a network for knowledge management which consequently flourish the product development. Apple has continuous and numbers of company products such as iPad, iPhone has significant market share as well as company continuously unveil new product and devices.

Google has deployed innovation culture based on employee empowerment and diversity rather traditional organisation structures. Google has successfully managed to integrate the internal and external competencies which have helped to continuously innovation based on exploitation which has resulted in the delivery of the improved product such as chrome and YouTube services.

Google leadership respond through continuous innovation to the dynamic business environment through strategy and culture has helped to facilitate innovation. Google has successfully used the network to share information and exploit core competencies of partners which helped to develop the new product.

 

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