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Corporate innovation

BestofBiz Briefings are articles on topical management issues from the London Business School, with links, references and further reading. This article can also be viewed free on the BestofBiz website.

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What’s best: revolutionary or incremental change?

Current strategic management thinking generally accepts that we are in a world of rapidly evolving technology, shifting and blurring industry boundaries, constantly changing turbulent markets and economies, where the expectations of shareholders, employees and other stakeholders is constantly rising.

Therefore continual innovation is needed to stay ahead of competitors. However, many organisations in spite of implementing change programmes or innovation initiatives have failed in their objectives. As a result, the nature of change within organisations is itself changing.

The debate continues as to whether the most effective response is to change radically or incrementally; to change as part of a change programme or to embed change into an organisation. Over the past few years there has been more emphasis on the radical change path in theory and practice.

Recently however, there has been a noticeable shift toward thinkers proclaiming the end of ‘change’ and adopting a more integrated, less disruptive approach to change and innovation.

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