B222B – Managing Technologies and Innovation (Part B) TMA – SPRING 2017 I- INSCTRUCTIONS II- CASE TO STUDY III- QUESTIONS IV- GRADES DEDUCTION V- AOU POLICY ON PLAGIARISM VI- PT3 FORM I- INSCTRUCTIONS: • Cut-off date: Submit this assignment no later

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B222B – Managing Technologies and Innovation (Part B) TMA – SPRING 2017 I- INSCTRUCTIONS II- CASE TO STUDY III- QUESTIONS IV- GRADES DEDUCTION V- AOU POLICY ON PLAGIARISM VI- PT3 FORM I- INSCTRUCTIONS: • Cut-off date: Submit this assignment no later

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B222B – Managing Technologies and Innovation (Part B)



• Cut-off date: Submit this assignment no later than the due date mentioned on your LMS/Moodle. ALL late submissions require approval from the branch course coordinator and will be subject to grade deductions.
• Learning outcomes: The purpose of this assignment is to support students’ understanding and application of different concepts learned in B222B, mainly: innovation, R&D, core competencies.
• Word count: you should discuss the questions in no more or less than the number of words mentioned for each question (plus or minus 10%).
• Referencing: You must acknowledge all your sources of information using full Harvard Style Referencing (in-text referencing plus list of references at the end). Use E-library: to get journal articles on the topic (Emerald, EBSCO, Proquest…). Use at least 2 articles.
• Plagiarism: Remember that you should work the information from references into your own original thoughts and INTO YOUR OWN WORDS. Plagiarism will lead to a significant loss of marks. Extensive plagiarism could mean that you failed your TMA. (Refer to AOU definitions of cheating and plagiarism at the end of this document)
• Essay guidance: Your response to each question should take the form of a full essay format. Avoid using subheadings and bullet points. Use B222B textbook and slides, the case, and E-Library. Plan what you will write, and have a well-organized outline.
• Using PT3 form: When you have completed your TMA, you must fill in the assignment form (PT3) posted on your moodle account, taking care to fill all information correctly.
• Moodle upload: A soft copy of your TMA and PT3 form should be uploaded to your LMS account via the link posted there, within the cut-off date.
• This TMA is 20% of B222B Grade.
The World's 10 Most Innovative Companies, And How They Do It
You can spend all you want on innovation, but you can’t guarantee success. In fact, the most innovative companies are not necessarily the biggest spenders, according to Booz & Company’s recent global innovation study. What matters instead? The ability to build the right innovation capabilities to connect with the overall business strategy and other critical capabilities.
In conducting our latest Global Innovation 1000 study, we surveyed more than 450 innovation executives (senior managers and R&D professionals) at more than 400 different companies around the globe. We asked them to identify the companies they thought were the most innovative.
The results were striking: Seven of the top 10 innovators were not among the top 10 spenders on innovation. Many of those identified by their peers as top innovators actually spent well below their industry averages on R&D, as a percentage of sales. And, most important, the top 10 innovators – Apple , Google , 3M , GE, Toyota , Microsoft , P&G , IBM , Samsung and Intel – turned in better financial performances than the top 10 spenders.
So, what makes the difference for successful innovators? To begin with, according to our research, the best performing companies develop important capabilities that are very specific to their chosen innovation strategies. Some companies are technology drivers: Their strategy is to develop leading-edge products. They need to be particularly good at understanding emerging technologies and also skilled at managing product lifecycles. We believe strongly that effective corporate strategies are capabilities driven. Leading companies know what they’re good at, how those capabilities create value, and which are the markets where those capabilities can earn them a right to win.
Take Apple as an example. It leads our list of the 10 most innovative. Today Apple represents a capabilities-driven innovation strategy, but it wasn’t always so. In the early 1990s the company squandered enormous resources and billions of dollars on a series of failed consumer products like the Newton PDA. Its efforts to do everything itself, building capabilities as varied as cutting-edge hardware development and volume manufacturing, led to huge losses and massive layoffs. But in 1997 Apple began to focus its portfolio and its capabilities. In fact, the company concentrated first on the capabilities at which it excelled, and which differentiated it clearly from peers:
–An exceptional consumer experience
–Intuitive user interfaces
–Sleek product design
–Iconic branding
This focus on what the company did distinctly well, helped Apple both narrow and extend its portfolio to products that made the most of these unique capabilities. Rather than expanding more broadly into personal computers (a move that many at the time discussed), the company refocused on its base and specifically targeted consumers and creative professionals with an improved core Mac offering. Rather than seeking world-class performance in manufacturing, Apple sold its factories. Rather than continuing to spend energy and investment on raw technology development, it created a program building on the innovations of others, providing then the true value add of integration, design and branding that has made each product extension a success. The results speak for themselves. Apple’s profitability and market capitalization are well above the industry average, and in our survey it was voted the most innovative company by a huge margin–all despite the fact that it has consistently spent far less on R&D as a percentage of sales than the median company in the computer and electronics industry.
Successful innovators focus on what matters most rather than spreading their effort and resources on capabilities that are less critical. With better focus and alignment, they are able to innovate more effectively, bring their innovations to market more efficiently, boost top-line growth and reduce relative costs–all at the same time.
Finally, the job of innovation leaders–and of corporate strategists–isn’t just to choose which capabilities to focus on. They also have to decide which ones don’t matter. As Xerox’s Steve Hoover puts it, “If a certain competency has nothing to do with how you’re positioning yourself in your market and creating value for your customers, then don’t oversupply it. Put your energy elsewhere, where you are going to differentiate.”
Focusing on critical, differentiating capabilities–things that you do better than anyone else and that align with your innovation and overall business strategy–will give your company the coherence necessary to outperform and out-innovate the competition. And that, of course, is what innovation and corporate strategy are really all about.
Jaruzelki, B., Mainardi, C., The World’s 10 most innovative companies and how they do it. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/2011/04/04/10-top-innovative-companies-apple-google-leadership-managing-how.html

1- Give a proper definition of “core competencies” and discuss how essential it is for a manufacturing company to concentrate on its critical capabilities competencies. Explain how this was conducted at Apple.
(300 words – 30 marks)

2- According to the passage above, R&D spending is not the main reason behind innovation. How do you think the main capabilities of a company can contribute in enhancing its performance and growth, and how important it is for these capabilities to be aligned with the overall strategy of the company? Justify your answer with examples from the case and from your own research. (350 word – 35 marks)

3- Choose one of the companies listed above, visit its website and other web pages you find interesting for your search, and elaborate on its R&D department and activities (number of employees in the department, budget allocated, spending on R&D, areas of research, latest innovations…) – (350 words – 35 marks)

TMA Presentation:
Up to 5 marks should be deducted for poor presentation or poor organization of the TMA outline and discussion or TMA presented without PT3.
Proper referencing:
Referencing should be both in-text referencing, plus a list of references at the end using Harvard style. Up to 5 marks should be deducted for poor referencing.

Use of E-Library:
A minimum use of 2 articles from AOU e-library is required to support the discussions. Up to 5 marks should be deducted for no use or poor use of e-library.

Word count:
The answers should be within the specified word count. A deviation of 10% is acceptable; if more, a deduction up to 5 marks will be applied.

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