Product innovation in a new technology based firm
This thesis examines the "state of the art" of product innovation in new technology In the UK. The roles in innovation attributed to small and large firms are examined. Growing attention is being focused upon the small firm sector as a seedbed for Innovation and government policy has been changing to encourage the entrepreneurial new technology based firm (NTBF). The novel perspective of this research results from working in such a firm. It provides a longitudinal study of the management of innovation in conjunction with the corporate strategy of the firm. Given that the researcher was a participant and observer in the firm studied, the research is akin to action research in methodology but is better described as grounded theory. Theoretical concepts are drawn from the prescriptive literature describing corporate strategy, and from the empirical literature which has evaluated new product success and failure. Models of the Innovation process are discussed and appropriate strategies and reasons for product innovation failure in NTBFs are described. The strategy, structure and new product development progress of the company are examined, using both the researcher's observations and company documents. This provides information on the methods and practices adopted for product innovation in a NTBF. The thesis analyses the performance of the firm In terms of product innovation. The models and strategies derived from the literature are then tested in the light of the experience of the company. Conclusions are drawn regarding strategies for innovation in NTBFs and about the innovation process in general. The importance of a NTBF adopting a synergistic strategy is shown. Links are established between the existence of synergy in the strategy and coupling in the management of innovation. Innovation is shown to be a laterally interdisciplinary exercise and therefore the "pipeline model" Is criticised. Finally a set of guidelines Is produced for the managers of NTBFs.