Strategic Management of Technological Innovation

How to get ahead of the game

February 28, 2008

The fundamental question in strategic management is how firms achieve and sustain competitive advantage. In the current knowledge-based economy, the endurance of competitive advantage for a large number of firms rests on their ability to continually develop, deploy and protect their innovations. In this context, the strategic management of technological innovation is important enough to deserve a dedicated textbook. Further, technological innovations are sufficiently different from conventional business processes to such an extent that a direct application of standard strategic management tools and frameworks may not be appropriate.

Strategic Management of Technological Innovation is a timely book that is well structured and thoughtfully put together. It focuses exclusively on the strategic management of innovation and new product development, articulating the ways and the manner in which strategic management tools are (or should be) applied in a technological innovation context.

Although the book is primarily written for engineering and business courses in strategic management of innovation and new product development, there is much in it that makes it highly useful for students taking up standard strategic management courses. What makes it appropriate for engineering and business students alike is the balance between the strategy content and technological innovation context and the seamless integration of strategic management, innovation and new product development frameworks. This is different from other context-specific strategy textbooks that often put too much emphasis on the context and end up with little or no strategy in them.

Case studies have always played an important role in most strategic management courses and form the backbone of the learning processes in many strategy courses. This book does not disappoint in this respect, being packed with interesting, up-to-date cases dealing with timely issues such as such the challenges facing the music industry in the digital age and competition in the video game industry.

The book is organised into three parts: industry dynamics of technological innovation; the formulation of technological innovation strategies; and the implementation of technological innovation strategies. Each of the 13 chapters includes an opening case study, sidebars defining key terms and concepts, a "Research Brief" box highlighting seminal research work, a "Theory in Action" box illustrating industrial experiences and challenges, plus a useful summary of key points and discussion questions.

The book can be used in many different ways. It can be used as a core text to deliver a standalone strategic management module for engineering students or a module on technological innovation for business students. Although the chapters run in a logical sequence, most are self-contained and thus could be used in isolation to complement core strategy or innovation textbooks.

Who is it for? Engineering management and business students.

Presentation: Good, with a large number of useful graphs and diagrams that serve to break up the text as well as to illustrate the key points in the text.

Would you recommend it? Yes.

Strategic Management of Technological Innovation

Author: Melissa A. Schilling
Edition: Second
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Pages: 336
Price: £48.99
ISBN 9780073210582

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