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 B222A – Managing Technologies and Innovation

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مُساهمةموضوع: B222A – Managing Technologies and Innovation   الأربعاء نوفمبر 09, 2016 11:57 am

B222A – Managing Technologies and Innovation
TMA - FALL 2016-2017


I- INSCTRUCTIONS
II- CASE TO STUDY
III- QUESTIONS
IV- GRADES DEDUCTION
V- AOU POLICY ON PLAGIARISM
VI- PT3 FORM

I- INSCTRUCTIONS:

• Cut-off date: Submit this assignment no later than December 8, 2016. All late submissions require approval from the branch course coordinator and will be subject to grade deductions.
• Learning outcomes: The purpose of this assignment is to support students’ understanding and application of different concepts learned in B222A, mainly: internal/external acquisition, R&D, exploitation of technologies, types of adopters, evaluation and documentation.
• Word count: you should discuss the questions in no more or less than the number of words mentioned for each question (plus or minus 10%).
• Referencing: You must acknowledge all your sources of information using full Harvard Style Referencing (in-text referencing plus list of references at the end). Use E-library: to get journal articles on the topic (Emerald, EBSCO, Proquest…). Use at least 2 articles.
• Plagiarism: Remember that you should work the information from references into your own original thoughts and INTO YOUR OWN WORDS. Plagiarism will lead to a significant loss of marks. Extensive plagiarism could mean that you failed your TMA. (Refer to AOU definitions of cheating and plagiarism at the end of this document)
• Essay guidance: Your response to each question should take the form of a full essay format. Avoid using subheadings and bullet points. Use B222A textbook and slides, the case, and E-Library. Plan what you will write, and have a well-organized outline.
• Using PT3 form: When you have completed your TMA, you must fill in the assignment form (PT3) posted on your moodle account, taking care to fill all information correctly.
• Turnit-in upload: A soft copy of your TMA and PT3 form should be uploaded to Turnit-in via the link posted on your moodle account, within the cut-off date.
• This TMA is 20% of B222A Grade.

II- CASE TO STUDY

What do Flash, Android, Hotmail, Google Analytics and Powerpoint all have in common? Can you guess? The answer is: None of them were created by the companies who now own them. They were acquisitions. These products have continued to develop at their new homes, but the seed of innovation that sparked an actual, new product came from the outside. The key word here is innovation.
Sometimes you wonder how much big companies really innovate. A significant amount of today’s most popular and successful products originated with smaller companies which were later gobbled up by one of the big players (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, IBM, Oracle, etc).
We’d like to call this phenomenon “innovation by acquisition.”
Examples of innovation by acquisition
Here below is a small sample of well-known, successful products that began their lives outside the very big companies who now own them:
• Flash – was Macromedia’s product before Adobe bought Macromedia in 2005.
• Google Analytics – was Urchin, until Google bought Urchin Software.
• Blogger – was created by Pyra Labs, which Google bought in 2003.
• Google Docs – the word processor in Google Docs came from Writely, an app created by Upstartle which Google bought in 2006.
• Android – Google’s Android OS began life at Android Inc., a company Google bought in 2005.
• Hotmail – was bought by Microsoft in 1997.
• Powerpoint – came out of Forethought, a company Microsoft bought in 1987 (its first acquisition ever).
• Visio – was its own company before Microsoft bought it in 2000.
There are plenty of other prominent examples. How about Postini (bought by Google), YouTube (bought by Google), Flickr (bought by Yahoo), Delicious.com (bought by Yahoo), and we could just keep going.
We picked these examples because they are widely known products by big, well-known companies. However, look at any really big company within any industry and you are likely to find examples of innovation by acquisition.
That said, some companies are more aggressive than others when it comes to acquisitions. Google comes to mind here. Within the last two weeks, Google has bought Picnik, an online photo-editing application, and DocVerse, an online document collaboration service.
Actually, since its IPO in 2004, Google has been on such a spending spree that entrepreneurs often jokingly (or not) refer to “getting bought by Google” as an excellent exit strategy and business plan.

The challenge of in-house innovation
These big companies have resources aplenty. For example, Google has more than 7,000 people in research and development. Microsoft has even more. That’s a huge amount of brain power if channeled effectively. So why don’t we see innovation in proportion to those numbers? They should be innovation powerhouses.
One problem for big companies is that they are saddled with a lot of inertia and overhead. They have plenty of money, but they are simply not agile anymore. Smaller outfits can be flexible and quick, because they don’t have an existing corporate infrastructure to maintain. Ideas can flow unhindered.
This is for example what Google wants to simulate with its famous 20% time. Interestingly, they seem to have gained some success with it, because according to Google, 50% of their products come out of projects started this way. (For an interesting perspective, check out this article by Scott Berkun about Google’s 20% time.)
We’re sure that many other companies have similar, if perhaps not quite as drastic, ways of encouraging in-house innovation. But innovation also needs to be recognized, and if you have a huge corporate infrastructure and thousands of employees, things tend to get lost in the shuffle.
Another dilemma is that big companies with a lot of existing products often need to spend a significant amount of effort and resources on the continued development and maintenance of those products. This backlog of products is paying the bills, so they are important. This is a problem (or luxury) that startups don’t have; instead they can spend all their energy on that new, exciting product. They don’t need to maintain the status quo.
The upside of acquisitions
There are of course upsides to innovating by acquisition. If you can throw money at a problem to solve it quickly, or explore an opportunity, this can be very effective. And big companies usually have money in droves, just waiting to be invested.
• If it’s a market you want to enter, by entering it via acquisition you have one less competitor to worry about (because you own it).
• You get an immediate influx of expertise.
• By starting with an existing product you get a head start on the application development or get access to well-developed technology.
• In these days of patents and lawsuits, many companies also have another valuable asset: IP.
• In many cases, by buying an existing product you get access to its customer base. This can sometimes be worth more than the product itself.

Final words
Acquisitions are in no way inherently bad or evil. It’s just a different way of accomplishing a goal. Still, you can’t help but be fascinated when you look at some of the more acquisition-happy companies and realize that a huge part of their product portfolio originates from outside the company.
On the other hand, they should get two thumbs up for recognizing the potential of the companies they bought.

Adapted from “Innovation by Acquisition:, March 2010.
http://royal.pingdom.com/2010/03/10/innovation-by-acquisition/


III- QUESTIONS:
Answers to these questions should be based on: the case study, material learned from the textbook related to different TM concepts (acquisition, , external acquisition, types of external collaboration…) and online sources (i.e. companies’ webpages, AOU e-library databases…)

1. Evaluate Google’s strategy for technology acquisition and development; what types of acquisition Google has adopted during this process? (22 marks) What are the strengths of such strategy and what might be its weaknesses? (16 marks).
(450 words – 35 marks)


2. How in your opinion is innovation linked to acquisition? Give appropriate examples to support your discussion (350 words – 30 marks)

3. Find on the Internet an example of an external collaboration (alliance, joint-venture, outsourcing…) that was not successful. Explain the attributes and the reasons given for the failure (16 marks). What does this tell you about the keys to success in planning for an external collaboration? (16 marks)
(400 words – 35 marks)
IV- GRADES DEDUCTION:
TMA Presentation: (up to 5 marks)
Up to 5 marks should be deducted for poor presentation or poor organization of the TMA outline and discussion or TMA presented without PT3.
Proper referencing: (up to 5 marks)
Referencing should be both in-text referencing, plus a list of references at the end using Harvard style. Up to 5 marks should be deducted for poor referencing.

Use of E-Library: (up to 5 marks)
A minimum use of 2 articles from AOU e-library is required to support the discussions. Up to 5 marks should be deducted for no use or poor use of e-library.

Word count: (up to 5 marks)
The answers should be within the specified word count. A deviation of 10% is acceptable; if more, a deduction up to 5 marks will be applied.



V- AOU POLICY ON PLAGIARISM:
Arab Open University Definitions of cheating and plagiarism:
Plagiarism means copying from internet, from unreferenced sources, from other students’ TMAs or any other source. Penalties for plagiarism range from failure in the TMA or the course, to expulsion from the university.
According to the Arab Open University By-laws, the following acts represent cases of cheating and plagiarism:
• Verbatim copying of printed material and submitting them as part of TMAs without proper academic acknowledgement and documentation.
• Verbatim copying of material from the Internet, including tables and graphics.
• Copying other students’ notes or reports.
• Using paid or unpaid material prepared for the student by individuals or firms.
• Utilization of, or proceeding to utilize, contraband materials or devices in examinations.

Penalty on plagiarism: The following is the standard plagiarism penalty applied across branches as per Article 11 of the university by-laws was revisited and modified to be more explicit with regard to plagiarism on TMAs. Penalties include the following:
1) Awarding of zero for a TMA wherein more than 20% of the content is plagiarized.
2) Documentation of warning in student record.
3) Failure in the course to dismissal from the University.

VI- PT3 FORM
Use of PT3 form is mandatory as a cover page for your TMA. This form is provided to you by your tutor or posted on LMS. TMA presented without PT3 form is subject to grades deduction. This PT3 form will be used by your tutor to add comments and marks and will be returned to you with the annotated work.

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B222A – Managing Technologies and Innovation
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» المجلة الدولية للإبداع الإداري International Journal of Organizational Innovation

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