The Future Of Innovation In The Mirror Of Concentration, Dependency And Humanisation

Dr Csaba Deák

We can explore the future of innovation through three factors, Concentration, Dependency, and Humanization. Concentration is evident in the divide between centralization and decentralization, as witnessed by the size of the innovation and research organizations. The dichotomy between separation and collaboration illustrates the Dependencies of disciplines, geographical locations, and business and academic sectors. Meanwhile, when Humanization is explored through the dichotomy of automation and human labour, it can be demonstrated that some human factors become less important while others need to be valued more highly.

Centralization-Decentralization

It can be argued that centralization continues to gather pace. This is partly due to the targeting of financial sources towards innovation that has a visible impact. Company mergers and acquisitions also serve to reinforce the centralization of research. Furthermore smaller companies based on radical innovation are growing rapidly and dominating on them market.

Decentralization will exist in the future, because SMEs, and other organizations, will continue to participate in innovation as moon-like satellites of bigger research centres. Many R&D organizations undertake research by dividing it into smaller units and the increasing popularity of open innovation is testament to the rise of this approach. Paradoxically, this openness serves to maintain the confidentiality and relative secrecy of research by restricting the number of members of the innovation team who are privy to the marketable results of the whole R&D project.

Separation-Collaboration

Specialization will continue to increase within most disciplines and in some cases this will lead to the formation of new professions and branches of science. From another perspective, we will almost certainly witness further growth in geographical specialization as cities and entire regions leverage their known strengths in specific fields of innovation.

The borders between disciplines will continue to fade and in some cases simply disappear. Disciplines belonging to the fields of energy and the environment are a good example of this dynamic in practice. These days it is a standard requirement that one seeks the input of other to innovations in their respective fields.

The collaboration between academic institutions and industry through joint research is increasing. Universities appear to be transforming into “knowledge factories” which were once solely devoted to developing human capital are now amongst the most important R&D laboratories.

Automation – Human labour

Innovation will become increasingly unimaginable without a strong technical background. The automation of innovation processes will lead to ever-quicker realisation of results and this will be a major determinant in competition between researchers. As innovation becomes more complex so the need for more sophisticated tools will be heightened and the presence of effective innovation and project management methodology will be a key to successful projects.

Effective team performance will be critical to successful innovation in the future. We can expect to see research that originates in the fields of social science and psychology, feature more prominently in product and process innovation, in technology and in natural science research. At the same time, the growing impact of organizational and marketing innovations will be felt in the research world.

Article © 2009 Dr Csaba Deák. All rights reserved.

about the author...

Dr Csaba  Deák

Dr Csaba Deák

affiliation:   University Of Miskolc

position:  Associate Professor

country:  Hungary

area of interest:  Innovation Management

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other books and writings by

Dr Csaba Deák

Folyamatmenedzsment, folyamatinnováció (Hungarian)

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Szemelvények az Innovációmenedzsment Kooperációs Kutatási Központ projektjeiből (Hungarian)

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Influence of Innovation on the Competitiveness of SMEs (in: The Capital of Intelligence - the Intelligence of Capital)

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