Nonlinear models of the innovation process

The dissatisfaction with the linear description of the innovation has stimulated the search for new concepts. Empirical studies of innovation practice and attempts at their theoretical understanding in the ’80s brought to life the nonlinear interpretation of the process of innovation. For example, system models have been proposed that look at innovation in cybernetic terms, ie. as a system consisting of interacting subsystems, which in practice means only the introduction of new lines and feedback in the linear interpretation.

The main disadvantage of this model is its isolation from the external environment – it does not take into account the totality of external conditions and influences.

The innovation process can also be represented through a multi-stage iterative model. Reference: “Technological innovation – the creation of new or improved technology“,

Here the stages are connected by direct feedback – in case of unsatisfactory results at some stage we return to the previous, or even to the previous stages.
The issue of considering consumption as a stage of the innovation process is controversial. Many authors include it insofar as consumption is the ultimate criterion for the success of innovation, in addition, it is an incentive to improve production and a source of new ideas. This model also does not take into account external conditions.

The further development of innovation theory and practice leads to the understanding of the need to combine market and technological factors in the management of the innovation process. Based on this, many nonlinear models have been developed that take into account the impact of science and technology and societal needs.

Generalized model of the innovation process

Its peculiarity consists in the separation of logically consistent, functionally separate, but interacting and interdependent stages. The advantages of this model are in the presentation of the innovation as a result of the mutual complementarity of technological opportunities and market needs within the innovation organization and the abandonment of the linear description of the innovation process. Reference: “What is Product Innovation“,

Recognition of the non-linearity of innovations opens up the possibility of deepening the analysis of the innovation process in terms of its increasing integration and parallelism of stages, as well as the use of network interactions.

To create a new class of nonlinear models that adequately reflect the innovation process at the beginning of the XXI century, it is necessary to separate a central unit for the innovation process and take into account the growing chaos, unpredictability, stochasticity in innovation.

The separation of the central unit, the central event in the innovation process implies a high degree of internal integration of resources, staff, and tasks of functional units in the interest of development and design. To this end, interdisciplinary project teams are established, which include representatives of research, marketing, production, service, and other units. Special attention is paid to the possibility for a wider exchange of information within the functional and structural units. The direct and indirect involvement of a wider range of qualified staff of the company in solving innovative tasks facilitates the complementarity of innovations in products, processes, and services.

Another prerequisite for nonlinearity in the innovation model and increasing integration in the innovation model is the “dropout” at some stages of the classical linear model. In some areas of modern UTP, the results of a fundamental nature immediately give a ready-made solution, without the need for the stage of applied research or development. Such opportunities exist, for example, in biotechnology, in the field of synthesis of new substances and materials in chemistry, pharmaceuticals, the creation of certain types of software.

Nonlinear innovation model of the innovation process

It differs from the ordinary linear model by a certain autonomy of the research process and the assessment of demand from the main way of creating innovations. After the emergence of the idea of ​​novelty and its conceptual justification as a result of the perceived need for demand and technological capabilities, there is a potential prospect for its development and constructive design without conducting research.

This does not mean underestimating the opportunities for ideas from the field of basic and applied research. In this case, the traditional linear model of the innovation becomes a special case of the proposed model. The main difference between modern designers and constructors and inventors in the period of the second industrial revolution is that they (in most cases) are highly qualified specialists who provide strong basic scientific training. Such, for example, are the founders of small science-intensive companies. They have a significant fund of scientific knowledge, an extensive network of scientific consultations, a developed laboratory base.

Depending on the novelty of the idea, there may be a need for additional research and assessment of relevant market conditions. At the same time, the scientific search does not start from the process of basic and applied research, but rather in reverse order: first, an analysis of the accumulated scientific information is made, which is a scientific background, both in the organization and in external information sources.

If this search does not lead to an adequate answer, then applied research is undertaken, and if it turns out to be insufficient and fundamental research. These studies are not performed once and can occur during the various stages of the innovation process. Reference: What is Innovation Management,

The market analysis activities are similarly repeated. In the case of strong innovation, market research may not be enough to assess its potential. Long-term programs require an analysis of hidden, intangible needs, which are based on the emergence of major socio-economic, demographic and technological impulses.

An important feature of the integrated nonlinear model is the presence of a branched system of feedback: both between adjacent units on the main road to innovation, and between distant units. There is practically no fragmentation between the stages of the innovation process, in contrast to the generalized model of, in fact, many of the stages are carried out in parallel.

A characteristic feature of the given model of the innovation process is its ability to cooperate both within the organization and with the external environment. The internal cooperation between the successive stages of the various innovations is ensured by the relatively small number of linear units, by their orientation for solving the general task aimed at the maximum indicators of the market-marketing activity.

The parallelism of scientific research, rather than its consistent conduct, the repeated recourse to science (as well as market analysis) in the process of creating innovation, each time with unique assignments, creates strong preconditions for external, including network, cooperation. stages of research.

These studies can be conducted not only with independent scientific institutions but also with competitors. Similar opportunities exist in the analysis of the market, in the training of personnel, in the material and technical supply, etc.

The stage of realization can give signals for the choice of directions for work in the field of autonomous scientific research, for providing the necessary material base, and for expressing the potential market needs. The proposed model allows for small improvements by design and production units, without the inclusion of scientific and market research or with the use of one or/and both stages. The nonlinear model creates conditions for the creation of those bordering on the market stage.

The innovation in terms of multivariate

The model sufficiently illustrates the innovation in terms of the variety of methods and sources for consistent reduction of uncertainty and its transformation in risk assessment. Its important difference is that the specific events of the innovations are related not only to the formal organizational structure but mainly to the orientation towards the final economic result.

The non-linear integrated model emphasizes the unpredictability of the emergence of complex problems, the solution of which may require additional scientific research, including fundamental, at each stage of the life cycle of innovation. In this regard, it should be noted that the planning of innovations consists of the precise definition of its objectives and indicative calculations of the necessary resources and the time for its completion. The central task in the planning process in this regard is – to avoid the danger of investing unreasonably large sums at too early stages of the innovation process.

The non-linear model of innovation shows unpredictability, in a sense, the disorder in the process. The innovation allows for changes of various kinds in all units of the organization. The non-linear description of the innovation process presupposes a variety of sources of ideas and concepts and is aimed at creating conditions to help evaluate the maximum number of options.

Finally, this model focuses on the stage of development and construction as the most important event in the lifeblood of innovation, because this is where the integration of scientific, technological, and marketing conditions and opportunities is.

Innovation processes in intangible production, in the field of services and their study, have not yet created such a developed conceptual apparatus as in industry or agriculture. It is assumed, however, that in these areas, such as financial services, trade, insurance, creation of a software product, education, etc., a separate stage of development can be separated in the innovation process, which should include the systematic integration of new and traditional elements of the production process and evaluation of the offered new service, following demand.

It is obvious that in intangible production the development of an “experimental service” or a new product platform is characterized by other laws, primarily in terms of time and balance of market and technological factors. Moreover, in the structure of the innovation costs of the organizations in the field of services, the costs at the development stage prevail.

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