How is digitalization changing the management of innovation? What are the implications for the next phases in its development in the context of globalization?
Eric Viardot, Director of the Global Innovation Management Centre and permanent Professor of Strategy and Marketing at EADA Business School in Barcelona, has been exploring these and other related matters for the last several years. He has authored number of books, among them the recently published Revolution of Innovation Management: Volume 1 The Digital Breakthrough.
Also, the honorary editor of the International Journal of Technology Marketing, a member of the editorial board of Technovation, and a member of the UIIN Scientific Board, Eric is about to publish the 2nd Volume of his book. In this Interview he shares his experience and the key insights into his upcoming publication.
Mr. Viardot, what are your main areas of research and interest?
My main field of study is the management of innovation with a specific interest for the acceptance of innovations by the markets. I have a specific interest on the current digital revolution. I work also on business model innovation and I have a keen interest in renewable energy, especially the solar industry which I know pretty well. I have researched recently about the importance of standardization for the management of innovation. And, I have published a case study about the digitalization of the retail industry.
What do you consider to be the scientific challenge(s) in this field – where do the greatest needs for research lie?
The main scientific challenge is probably the management of data, which on one side are overwhelming for a single researcher in the case of the study of digitalization with an enormous amount of “big data” to be exploited. On the other side, there are still many data which are missing when it comes to study the innovation management process at industry level.
What would you consider as ‘must-reads’ to get an insight into innovation management?
“Managing Innovation” from Tidd & Bessant is a good book to start with. It offers a robust perspective about all the concepts of innovation management. It can be completed by the recent book “Revolution of Innovation Management” that I have co-edited with Alexander Brem from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. We have just published the first volume which is dedicated to the Digital revolution; the second volume which will be published by Palgrave McMillan in March 2017; it is about two other very important trends of Innovation management: globalization and the rise of business model innovation.
To get additional insights, I also recommend the reading of the best academic reviews in the innovation field such as Research Policy, Journal of Product Innovation Management, and Technovation, among others.
Could you share some insights of the aforementioned book Revolution of Innovation management? Volume 1 The Digital Breakthrough?
In this edited book we explore how digitalization is changing the management of innovation, and the subsequent implications for the next phases in its development. The digital breakthrough – or maelstrom as we define it – is dislocating the value propositions of many existing companies and as a result it is altering their market.
We have identified six driving forces of the digital revolution are digital technology, mobile communication, social networks, instant (real-time) data, virtual platform (cloud), and the raise of the unicorns, a new breed of powerful startups financed by venture capital. Additionally, we show that two features are making the digital revolution different from the usual dynamics of business innovation: the speed and the scope of change. They make for unpredictability and excessive turbulence in business sectors.
We also analyze how the digitalization of the economy has seen the emergence of a new category of competitors: the “digital disruptors”. They leverage digital innovation to dislodge their challengers mostly in the physical world while reshaping markets. In line with the constant globalization of innovation, the book offers a variety of international perspectives on these topics with illustrations and analysis coming from Asia, America, and Europe.
What are the key messages from the Volume 2, which is anticipated to be published in March this year?
This second volume covers the two other fundamental forces that are behind the current Revolution of Innovation management: the increased globalization of innovation and the rise of business model innovation.
First, the global middle class has grown from 1.3 billion consumers in 2010 to 2 billion in 2015; that growth has created a massive appeal for new products and services in “emerging” countries. This appetite for innovation has been matched by international companies which have deployed their Research and Development centers all over the world. The book detail how the evolution of some countries, especially Korea and China, is fueling innovation; it also explains how open innovation contributes to the globalization of innovation management.
Besides the revolution of innovation management is fueled by the surge of business model innovation. Innovating with a different way of doing business has always been one way to proceed; consider Ikea, Carrefour, or Starbucks, among others. But what was an exception some years ago seems to become a more typical and radical way to innovate for many companies. The book analyzes different cases of disruptive companies, including some family firms; it also investigates the effect the effect of business model innovation on the overall innovation performance and on the corporate responsibility of firms.
What would you recommend a young scientist just starting to work in the field?
I would advise to take the time to select the more promising field of investigation which s/he could be interested in. The field of Innovation Management offers a lot of opportunities in research for the future. This is a topic, which is high on the agenda of top managers in large multinationals as well as in governments and administrations.
Eric Viardot’s book Revolution of Innovation Management: Volume 1 The Digital Breakthrough can be purchased here
If you would like to hear more from him, you can reach via UIIN Connect here