Embracing Change: Incremental Innovation Case Studies

Embracing change: case sudies on how Australian firms use incremental innovation to support growth, was prepared for the Department by Dr Lyndal Thorburn, Advance Consulting & Evaluation and Dr John Langdale, Macquarie University, as part of the science and innovation mapping study. The report was released in 2003.

  • The report focused on gradual (incremental) business change and improvement by examining how Australian firms innovate in ways that are not related to R&D and barriers to these forms of innovation. 
  • The findings are based on 30 case studies involving mostly small firms, across a range of industries and Australian regions. 
  • All firms were committed to continuous business change and improvement. 

Report conclusions:

  • Incremental innovations was mainly directed towards higher quality or customised products/services and niche markets; and that listening to customers was very important. 
  • The main barriers to innovation were those of growing a small business, obtaining finance, finding staff, marketing overseas and relying too much on the founder. 
  • Most of the firms studied, struggle with the challenges of growth and with the conversion of tacit knowledge to codified knowledge.

 

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