Home Computer Science Technological Entrepreneurship: Technology-Driven vs Market-Driven Innovation
Managing Technological Diversity
Case Aims: To illustrate how a complex high-tech organisation may seek to achieve structure and order within the innovation process.
Boeing Corporation is a highly diversified company engaged in areas that include (1) commercial aircraft, products and services, (2) defence products such as military aircraft and missiles, (3) space products such as satellites and launch vehicles, and (4) a growing array of advanced networked system products for both commercial and defence applications. This diversity of products and services relies upon the sustained exploitation of innovation across a widening array of technologies. An enterprise such as Boeing usually requires the existence of a framework for managing innovation across many areas in a manner that is focused and connected, without hindering creativity. Hence the company has sought to avoid a personality-driven approach to research management, because this may result in a R&D portfolio based on an individual's preferences and hunches rather than providing the basis for a systematic view of the whole company and its opportunities (Lind 2006).
A key element in the Boeing's innovation management system is Phantom Works, the company's central research organisation. This group has developed and led the deployment of the firm's Global Enterprise Technology System. The company has identified certain key objectives which underpin decisions concerning current and future innovation portfolios. These include projects required to:
Managing a large multibusiness enterprise involves a level of complexity that can be a challenge in relation to fostering crossenterprise activities. To bridge the diversity in the company whilst enhancing innovation the Phantom Works group has led Boeing to develop the following process model.
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