Title: Strategic breakthroughs as flagpoles of innovation process

Authors: Mukund R. Dixit; Sunil Sharma; Amit Karna

Addresses: Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Wing 1, IIMA Campus, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad – 380015, India ' Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Wing 16, IIMA Campus, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad – 380015, India ' Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Wing 13, IIMA Campus, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad – 380015, India

Abstract: This paper empirically investigates the innovation process, from ideation to market leadership. The focus is on the nature of innovation process, action-outcome linkage, and learning from the environment. Our conceptualisation of the innovation process being a series of strategic breakthroughs is built on the experiences of Samsung Electronics in creating two world-class products: microwave ovens and semiconductors. Our findings demonstrate that the process of innovation progresses through the occurrence of four types of strategic breakthroughs: entry, platform, springboard, and leadership. Based on our analysis, we infer that the process of innovation is more predictable and controllable in its early stages, but turns random in the later stages. Our explanation for such behaviour adds to the current understanding of innovation process. We also describe the role played by the external (environmental) and internal (organisational) factors in facilitating the emergence of strategic breakthroughs.

Keywords: innovation process; environmental support; organisational support; strategic breakthroughs; Samsung Electronics; microwave ovens; semiconductors.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2016.079510

International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 2016 Vol.11 No.4, pp.512 - 538

Received: 27 Dec 2013
Accepted: 14 Jun 2014

Published online: 15 Sep 2016 *

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