The Future Of Innovation ... Innovation For A Global Success

Dr Ma Zhenzhong

Technological innovation has been the primary driver of business success and failure. Effective management of technological innovation helps build sustainable competitive advantage in the market. As the world becomes more flattened in the new century, innovation for a global success and international collaboration in innovative activities has become the most important challenge to all companies. In an increasingly globalized world, previously strongly guarded national boundaries are melting away and interlinked economies are gradually replacing these boundaries. The perceptual paradigm shift thus is required for countries, companies, and individuals to remain competitive in a global market where geographical divisions are becoming increasingly irrelevant. When the permeability of national borders is combined with collaborative scientific and commercial efforts, international globalization would soon embrace the national technology frontiers and transform them into techno-globalism. Techno-globalism runs contrary to the specialization in traditional national systems, and it describes the deep interaction between technology and globalization that induces firms to bring about radical change both in their own organizational structures and in their inter-firm relationships. As many corporate functions, such as Product Design, Manufacturing, and Marketing, are being integrated in order to respond to more demanding markets, new forms of transnational inter-firm technological cooperation are developing. Research has suggested that the upcoming of increased technological globalization is inevitable. This is partly due to the collaborative efforts among multinational companies that spread around the world, and partly due to the increased and, sometimes deliberate, inter-industry and cross-border collaborative efforts in quest for worldwide competitiveness

The globalization of technology is neither the sole reason for, nor is the only outcome of, worldwide collaborative efforts. The qualitative change in the nature of global competition is both necessitating and reinforcing the pursuit of such cooperative strategies because of global competition's escalating risks, increased capital requirements, and shrinking product cycle time. The rapid evolution of traditional cost structure toward increased fixed costs, diminished variable costs, and shrunk payback periods in world market creates an even more urgent need for a collaborative strategy worldwide, including the strategic collaborative policies and practice in R&D and technological innovation.

In response to these challenges, the cross-border alliance movement begins and the dominant business operating paradigms has undertaken a pervasive shift from self-reliance strategy to partner-dependence strategy. The most fundamental activities in a company's value chain, the innovation and inventive activities, have therefore jumped on the bandwagon of globalization,

and involve more international collaborative efforts in order to maintain global competitiveness. The future of innovation and the management of innovation for future thus rely on a good understanding of inter-culture differences and high level of knowledge exchange. It is therefore essential to encourage international collaborations in technological innovation to increase the exchange of knowledge and expertise across countries in order to maintain a competitive advantage. The government and policy makers should evaluate their own countries’ inventive activities and the level of knowledge exchange with other countries, and then make appropriate policies to help increase their countries’ competitiveness in innovation.

Article © 2009 Dr Ma Zhenzhong. All rights reserved.

about the author...

Dr Ma Zhenzhong

Dr Ma Zhenzhong

affiliation:   University Of Windsor; Odette School Of Business

position:  Assistant Professor in Management

country:  Canada

area of interest:  Management and Strategy

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