The Conceptualization of Innovation: Differentiating one Term from the Other


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The word innovation may pertain to both incremental and radical changes to processes, products, or services. Solving a problem is often its unspoken goal. It also became an important topic in the different fields of study. It is discussed in business, economics, sociology, engineering, and technology. Innovation is also a major key in economy. The factors which are leading to innovation are considered crucial by most policy makers.

In business, government policy, and economics, they considered “something new" as things that are substantially different rather than insignificant change. Take for instance, a change in economics means increase in product value, producer value, or customer value. Innovations are created to improve something that already exists. Later on, its succession can lead to a lot of innovations that can help in the economic growth.

In the context of an organization, innovation is associated to the growth and performance on improving efficiency, quality, productivity, market share, competitive positioning, and others. It includes innovations in organizations such as universities, local governments, and hospitals.

Although innovation usually adds value, it can also have destructive or negative effects. Thus it changes or clears away old practices and old forms of an organization. If certain organization is not subjected to effective innovation then it might be destroyed by the new process.

Innovation is conceptualized in different contexts variety. It can be done to the things associated with commerce, technology, economic development, policy construction and social systems. The conceptualization approaches in innovation are incorporated in a wider range. Innovation is defined by scholars as an introduction of something useful and new. Like for example introducing new techniques, methods, practices, or altered or new services and products.

The conceptualization also helps in determining if the usage of the word is appropriate or not. Some people might confuse the word innovation with invention which is also defined as creation of new equipments or tools. Well, take note that enhancements of many services and products are appropriately called as improvements.

Creativity and change are also used as substitutes for innovation. It does not necessarily lose the meaning of the word. It is because most business literature today associated the innovation concepts with value extraction, operational execution, and value creation. In this case, it cannot be called an innovation until it was successfully implemented and makes profit or money on the idea. Even if these notions are closely linked to innovations, still it is not easy to extract important innovation concepts.

Creativity is involved in the process of innovation however the word is not identical. Creative ideas are only used to make tangible and specific differences in the areas wherein innovations occur. The idea should be translated into actions which make genuine differences. Examples are altered processes in businesses or changes in services and products.

There is another emerging approach which considered innovations as “actions being done". It can be called as innovation when an individual uses a particular invention or existing tools that are used in a new way to change anything related to organizing people, works, and way of life. The invention mentioned here is being viewed as concepts, other things which facilitate the action, or physical devices. In this approach, it does not matter whether the act of innovation succeeds or not.

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