Managing Technologies and Innovation

Managing Technologies and Innovation
   Managing Technologies and                                  Innovation

Managing Technologies and Innovation

Read the Case Study and answer the following questions:

1. Is the Tata Nano car a disruptive innovation? If so, what are the implications for industry incumbents? (300 word)

2. Select one car innovation that would be considered more incremental in nature, and one that would be considered more breakthrough in nature (or two innovations of your choice from another industry). Explain which of the characteristics of breakthrough versus incremental innovation your examples exhibit. (500 words)

*** Words count = 800 words.

*** In-Text Citations and References using Harvard style.

B222B – Managing Technologies and Innovation (Part B)

I- Instructions
II- Case study: Cars of the Future
III- Additional material
IV- Questions
V- Grades deduction
VI- Referencing and Harvard Style


• 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.
• Remember that you should work the information from references into your own original thoughts and INTO YOUR OWN WORDS.

Cars of the Future
In 1908, Henry ford’s famous model T rolled Off the assembly line. Within 100 years the automobile revolutionized society, putting people on wheels. Today, the average US household owns 2.28 vehicles. Yet with gas prices on the rise, concerns about the environment mounting and traffic congestion plaguing cities large and small, inventors and entrepreneurs are teaming up to transform personal automotive travel. In the very near future, popular transportation options will include personal jet packs, flying cars, and carbon free stackable cars.
Futuristic flyers
Thanks to the terrafugia’s transition “personal air vehicle” aggravating rush hour traffic will become history. Brave commuters can take to the skies in a 2 person light sport aircraft with automated retractable wings. Using lighter and stronger material and more efficient engines, the vehicle aims to be classified by the FAA as the easier to fly light sport aircraft, requiring only 1.500 feet to take off, the transition will run on premium unleaded gas, fly at 120 mph, and have a range of 100-500 miles with 30 miles per gallon in the air. On the ground, the vehicle will get 40 highway miles per gallon.
Want to fly to work but prefer feeling the wind in your face? Try the jet pack T-73 created by Jet Pack international, with a range of 11 miles and maximum flying time of 9 minutes, commuters can blast to work at 83 miles per hour At 250 feet above the ground. The T-73 will hold 5 gallons of jet A fuel and will retail around $200.000 (including training).
Conventional alternatives
Now for those who want eco-friendly transportation combined with adrenaline. But aren’t quite ready to take for the skies, check out the tesla roadster. The roadster sports a base price of 109.000$ and proves that a 100% electric sports car can perform as well as the traditional models but with zero emissions. Speeding from 0 to 60mph in 3.9 seconds. The roadster has a manual transmission and 248 horsepower. The battery provides for a 220 mile range and takes 3.5 hours to recharge. Who knew being fast and being green could be achieved in one vehicle.
For those more comfortable staying grounded and keeping some change in their pockets consider the apetra. The apetra seats two, weighs 850 pounds maxes out 95 mph and impressively gets 230mpg! Apetra is developing several versions; the classic hybrid design diesel/electric motor combination that will be priced around 29000$ the full electric version priced around 26000$ with a120 mile range.
For those uninterested in buying a car but still be needing access to a low cost vehicle on an as needed basis, consider smart cities foldable, electric city cars developed at MIT’s media lab. Designed to mitigate the negative external effects of the traditional vehicle, not only is the city-car electric, but like airport luggage carts, it is stackable, fitting 6 to 8 cars into a single conventional parking place. The city car will be available to rent at transportation hubs and can be returned when finished.
India’s TATA motors recently announced an extremely low cost automobile with a small carbon footprint: the Nano. Dubbed “India’s model T “, the 4 door 2 cylinder family car can fit 4 passengers and has lower emissions than most two wheeled Indian vehicles, at an astounding price of only $2.500. Touting a lean design that minimizes weight and increases fuel efficiency, as well as safety design features that protect occupants, the Nano is sure to raise a stir in India and abroad. The company has said its expects the car to revolutionize the auto industry and analysts believe the Nano may force other manufacturers to lower their own pricing. There is also speculation that the process innovations necessary to produce the car at such a low price will threaten the operating models of market leaders. French automakers Renault and its Japanese partner Nissan are trying to determine if they can sell a compact car for less than $3.000.

Types of Innovations
1. Incremental versus breakthrough
Incremental Innovations:
? Continuations of existing products, methods or practices
? Minor improvements made with existing methods and technology
? Evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary
Breakthrough Innovations:
? Totally new products
? Considerable change in basic technologies and methods
? Revolutionary ideas that can create new markets

2. Product versus process versus organizational
Product Innovations:
? New products offering improvements in functional characteristics, technical abilities, ease of use, or other dimensions(incremental or breakthrough)
Process Innovations:
? New techniques of producing goods or services
? Improve the effectiveness or efficiency of production processes
? Facilitate the discovery of underlying scientific properties of technological domains

3. Architectural versus modular (component)
Architectural Innovations:
? New foundations or fundamentals of how the various components of a system work together to function
? Based on scientific principles
? Different from existing technological platforms
? May be considered radical.
Modular Innovations:
? New parts or materials within the same technological platform
? Example: Magnetic tape, floppy disk, and zip disk differ by components or materials, all three based on the platform of magnetic recording

4. Sustaining versus disruptive
Sustaining Innovations:
? Target demanding, high-end customers with improved performance
? Typically through incremental innovations
Disruptive Innovations:
? New, simpler, more convenient, less sophisticated and/or less expensive than existing products or services
? Appeal to customers at the lower end of the market
? Low-end disruption: attracts low-end customers initially, moves into more upscale markets over time as the technology improves
? New-market disruption: converts previous non-customers into new customers, thereby creating a new market


1. Is the Tata Nano car a disruptive innovation? If so, what are the implications for industry incumbents? (300 word)

2. Select one car innovation that would be considered more incremental in nature, and one that would be considered more breakthrough in nature (or two innovations of your choice from another industry). Explain which of the characteristics of breakthrough versus incremental innovation your examples exhibit. (500 words)

Proper referencing:
Referencing should be both in-text referencing, plus a list of references at the end using Harvard style.

Use of E-Library:
A minimum use of 2 articles from AOU e-library is required to support the discussions.

There are various ways of setting out references / bibliographies for an assignment.
“Harvard Style” is a generic term for any referencing style which uses in-text references such as (Smith, 1999), and a reference list at the end of the document organized by author name and year of publication.
In this guide, we are using a “Harvard Style” which is based on the author-date system for books, articles and “non-books”.
NOTE: When you write your list of references/bibliography, please keep in mind the following points:
• Your bibliography should identify an item (e.g. book, journal article, cassette tape, film, or internet site) in sufficient detail so that others may identify it and consult it.
• Your bibliography should appear at the end of your TMA with entries listed alphabetically.
• If you have used sources from the Internet, these should be listed in your bibliography.

– For a BOOK:

– For an ARTICLE:


The basic form of the citations follow the principles listed for Article print sources (see above)
In addition, you need to provide the following information:
1. date item viewed
2. name or site address on internet (if applicable)

Weibel, S 1995, ‘Metadata: the foundations of resource description’, D-libMagazine, viewed 7 January 1997, <>.

ASTEC 1994, The networked nation, Australian Science, Technology and Engineering Council, Canberra, viewed 7 May 1997, <>

If no author is given, the title is used as the first element of a citation.

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