The paper "What Entrepreneur Needs" is a great example of a report on management. Innovation is one of the key aspects in business studies an entrepreneur must carefully understand in order to succeed. Such cannot be underestimated simply because there are so many contradicting views about what innovation is, particularly as a strategy in business. In a layman’ s term, it is often said that innovation is putting new ideas into practice to be competitive. With this definition, the concepts of research and development, commercialization of new products, and process technologies are often highlighted as aspects of the practice. Thus, innovation can happen with just any organization or company.
In fact, they often share common traits. In their Harvard Business School case study, Sull, Ruelas-Gossi and Escobari (2004) named three distinct approaches to innovation as 1) strategically exploiting an intimate knowledge of their consumers’ mindsets; 2) innovating around (rather than through) technology, and; 3) scouring the world for ideas. Being innovative entails great pains and sacrifices on the side of the entrepreneur, especially if this meant staying ahead of the competition which is one of the key barriers being employed by the business-minded to prevent others from exploiting an opportunity.
Baron and Shane (2005) noted that by creating barriers to block others from copying or imitating the idea of innovation by the entrepreneur, the same can continue to capitalize and maximize this opportunity for long. Three other approaches to blocking imitation by others have been named in this regard: 1) controlling resources; 2) establishing legal barriers to imitation, and 3) building a reputation for satisfying customers (Baron and Shane 2005). Finally, this paper will answer whether barriers created to block imitation are necessary. Studying closely the use of innovation as a barrier to imitation, let us take a closer look at Toyota’ s success.
The Japanese carmaker has been considered a good model for companies who sought constant innovation through strong systems and solid structures focused on creating the right social context. May and Roberts (2007) said this strong system employed at Toyota contributed much to how the company was able to successfully transformed a competitor’ s (General Motors) factory in Fremont, California that “ produced a 360° innovation. ”
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