A Conceptual Framework for the Alignment of Innovation and Technology
Historically, business institutions base their growth strategies on their research and development (R&D) function. This function is fairly established and sets out to acquire new knowledge in a systematic process of research in order to produce or improve products, services or processes. In fact, innovation and research are two of the main thrusts for economic growth. Research is planned, assessed, managed and rewarded, innovation is not. However, without acknowledging and aiding the growing importance of innovation for growth in a rapidly more chaotic environment, this function is set for failure. Where research is valued, innovation is feared as radical and disruptive. Furthermore, there is little evidence in the current body literature to link them and to show how they, jointly, can add more value than separately. They remain independent entities in separate clusters of the economy. The convergence factor in research and innovation is technology (knowledge not machines). The paper explores the convergence of innovation and research from a previous paper, focusing on the development of a conceptual model in terms of the technology (or knowledge) system required for the accomplishment of this convergence. In this sense, technology is defined as knowledge, tacit or explicit, in human, document or electronic format. The proposed convergence requires the use of knowledge systems to drive the innovation and research. The contribution of the paper lies in the knowledge developmental aspects of research and innovation convergence. An existing model to achieve for knowledge systems development will be reviewed and a modified version presented after careful consideration of the body literature on knowledge and innovation systems. This model incorporates aspects of knowledge management as well as innovation and research management.
Keywords: Technology, Innovation, Technology Framework, Alignment of Technology and Innovation, Research
Prof. René Pellissier
Academic & Research Consultant, Department of Business Management, University of South Africa