Development of methods and apparatus for innovation capability audit and strategic positioning for small and medium enterprises

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Development of methods and apparatus for innovation capability audit and strategic positioning for small and medium enterprises

 

Author: Leung, Chi-on
Title: Development of methods and apparatus for innovation capability audit and strategic positioning for small and medium enterprises
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2010
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Management audit -- Research
Small business -- Technological innovations -- Management.
Strategic planning -- Management.
Department: Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Pages: xi, 137 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2353106
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5665
Abstract: Innovation capability is vital for manufacturing enterprises to develop competitive products in the markets. Technological innovation is believed as a black box although it has been studied for decades. This black box processes thousands of ideas and brings only one successful new product. The failures of thousands of new ideas are usually due to technically infeasible or relatively low contribution in commercial value. However, there is a lack of audit tool and apparatus for supporting manufacturing enterprises to assess the innovation capability and strategic positioning. This is particularly true for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in manufacturing industries which are lack of resources. As a result, SME needs audit tools and methods to find out its strategic and current innovation position, intangible composition of the innovating capability and their reliability, and the performance of innovation activities. This dissertation aims to develop methods and apparatus to audit the innovation capability of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in manufacturing industries. It throws some light for the SME to align its innovation capability with planned strategic position. In this study, a new model named interactive innovation model is developed. This model focuses on organization internal factors in a close system of innovation. Employee ideas are generated in the wide end and innovation outcome, product or process, are synthesized and come out from the narrow end of the system. To assess the innovation capability, all inputs, processes, and outcomes in the model are measured by both quantitative and qualitative methods using both top down and bottom up approaches. To examine the strategic view and actual performance of innovation capability and the employee perceived organizational innovativeness, the enterprises are divided into three levels which include top, middle and bottom. Gap analysis is used to determine the potential strategic dissonance in the innovation capability. Besides, a stock taking of the intellectual capital (IC) components in different innovation core processes is conducted to determine the reliability of the available innovation related best practices. To realize the capability of the new method, a trial implementation has been done in a selected reference site. The reference site is a SME for toy, juvenile and stationary products manufacturing business. It involves in OEM and ODM manufacturing for more than ten years and steps in the OBM business recently. There is about forty employees in headquarter office in Hong Kong and two to three thousands employees in its manufacturing plant in Mainland China. A full audit is implemented and significant results about strategic dissonance and deficiency in organizational innovativeness for its R&D operation are observed during the process audit and work enviromnent audit. Besides, the result of its overall innovation capability is marginal and significant gap for improvement is identified with action items. The audit tool assists the top management to derive two approaches of action plan, one for its OBM business and another one for its OEM/ODM business. Moreover, the initial stock take of intellectual capital in the process audit also gives the top management a template for further development of innovation capability in a sustainable manner. The results show that the method is applicable on the selected SME and able to provide direction to align its innovation capability to the planned strategic position. At the end of this study, suggestion for further work is provided. This study provides a quick and holistic initial diagnosis method for innovation capability of SMEs in manufacturing industries with immediate available action items and long-term improvement plan. As there is lack of study about the development of related methods and apparatus, this dissertation has provided significances in the related field.

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