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Innovation and The New Stakeholders

In today’s world, the question is not whether or not to be innovative, but to what degree or stage.

Organizational Structures and / or individuals’ arrangements for conducting innovation processes are a form of communication of the company regarding the level of priority and strategic importance that these elements occupy. The stakeholders of innovation projects may include educational institutions, ICT’s basic industrial infrastructure, technology companies clusters, suppliers, users, innovation systems, government, financial markets, legal systems, development agencies, business systems, among others. Added to this is the example of the industrial revolution in which the political and economic environment were factors in encouraging innovation.

In general, project management methodologies deal with stakeholder management. The PMBOK 5ed. It presents a set of identification, planning, management and control of the level of stakeholder engagement. The SCRUM reinforces the importance of the relationship between the stakeholders with frequent meetings. Prince2 underscores the importance of your engagement. Particularly in the field of innovation, stakeholder engagement and engagement (fully identified) is critical to project success.

The innovation depends on the technological capacity of the organization. The technological capacity is related to a set or stock of resources based on technological knowledge. Often companies derive mechanisms of technological learning. The form and speed with which companies build and accumulate technological capacity directly impacts on their competitiveness. Some questions are relevant in the assessment of technological capacity and innovation:

  • Where are we in terms of technological capacity?
  • How long does it take to get here?
  • How long are we “stationed” at a given level of capacity for a specific technological function?
  • How far are we from the technological frontier?
  • Where do we want to be until year x?
  • What are the resources and how do you manage them to reach a level of technological capacity in x years?

Technology capability and technology are developed within specific organizational contexts. The more complex the more difficult it is to imitate it and copy it – the source of competitive advantage. In the context of developing countries, human capital and organizational capital have greater relative importance than technical systems. According to Temaguide, “Technology Consists of knowledge and experience as well as equipment and facilities. It is software as well as hardware and it is services and systems as well as products and processes. Technology uses ideas, creativity, ingenuity, intuition, intelligence and foresight. “
Innovations in organizations can be analyzed in three dimensions: macro, meso and micro. The macro dimension refers to Short-term Indicators, S & T & I Policies, National / Regional Innovation Infrastructure, Innovation Systems, Cooperation Networks, Technological Regimes and Sector Systems, Financing Innovation (Public and Private) and the Socio-Cultural Context. The Meso Dimension is related to the Innovation Strategy, Institutional Guidelines for ICTs for Innovation, Innovative Business Models, Innovation Projects Portfolio and Organizational Structuring for Innovation. The Micro deals with Innovation Projects, the Construction of competences – individuals and groups, Technological Learning, Entrepreneurial Behavior, Financial Management of innovation.

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The organizations are immersed in contexts that act as conditioners of the innovative activity. For this, companies must take into consideration the market, the solutions, the commercial relationships, the consumer experience, among other aspects. Innovation also differs among industrial sectors (Tidd et al., 2008).

A sectoral competition pattern presents its own structural characteristics:

  • Intensity of competition;
  • Degree of concentration of production;
  • Entry barriers;
  • Exposure to international competition;
  • Regulation.

Companies demand funding for their innovation projects because of the inherent risk of these activities. Investing in development and market testing is still needed to mitigate risk. Many projects must demonstrate the impacts they can bring to the development of the business.

Investment patterns and the influence of capital differ between sectors. The key factor can be related to the understanding of internal processes and the innovation model (Stage-gates (Cooper, 1993), Clark & Wheelright, Pentathlon (Goffin and Mitchell, 2010), Hansen and Birkinshaw (2007), Docherty ))

The innovation model can also determine the inclusion of new stakeholders. The innovation models include the joint development with external partners, the use of formal networks or consortia, joint ventures, open innovation and open source. Depending on the level of influence of the partners, they will have more or less strength in relation to the project direction.

Other aspects that can be considered in the identification and engagement of stakeholders are the implementation of idea channels, use of experiments and prototypes, and control of deliveries. Additionally it is suggested to avoid believing that all ideas are within the company, letting the “owner” of the idea do project management from start to finish. This will impact the identification and management of stakeholders. It is important to the Project Manager define and select the strategy, coordinating the project management plans, specially Human Resources Management Plan and stakeholders channels.

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