Innovation management techniques and tools: a review from theory and practice

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Authors: A. Hildago, J. Albors

Publication Year: 2008


Journal: R&D Management

Volume: 38

Issue: 2

Categories: Qualitative, Innovation, Gestalt Switch, Qualitative, Gestalt Switch, Qualitative


Knowledge is considered to be an economic driver in today's economy. It has become a commodity, a resource that can be packed and transferred. The objective of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review of the scope, trends and major actors (firms, organizations, government, consultants, academia, etc.) in the development and use of methods to manage innovation in a knowledge-driven economy. The paper identifies the main innovation management techniques (IMTs) aiming at the improvement of firm competitiveness by means of knowledge management. It will specifically focus on those IMTs for which knowledge is a relevant part of the innovation process. The research study, based on a survey at the European level, concludes that a knowledge-driven economy affects the innovation process and approach. The traditional idea that innovation is based on research (technology-push theory) and interaction between firms and other actors has been replaced by the current social network theory of innovation, where knowledge plays a crucial role in fostering innovation. Simultaneously, organizations in both public and private sectors have launched initiatives to develop methodologies and tools to support business innovation management. Higher education establishments, business schools and consulting companies are developing innovative and adequate methodologies and tools, while public authorities are designing and setting up education and training schemes aimed at disseminating best practices among all kinds of businesses.