Radical technologies and innovation

When we consider the impact of new technologies we have to look beyond the technology to the innovations in the processes employing the technology and in the organizations that adopt or are affected by the technology. An innovation may be defined as a change to a product, process, or organization (or some combination thereof) that is new to the organization implementing it (Boer and During, 2001). An innovation must provide value to the organization (Tidd et al., 2001), value that may be measured in economic, environmental, or social benefits. Innovation is different from invention. Invention is the creation of a new idea, while innovation is the application of that idea. A single invention can lead to many innovations as different operating units adopt and or modify the invention. For example, the creation of techniques to splice genes into plant DNA would be defined as inventions, while the development and deployment of new biotechnology crops are the resulting innovations. Innovations may be broadly divided into two classes depending on whether they apply primarily to the technology of an organization or to organizational structure and operation.

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