Innovation Management in British and German Manufacturing Companies
Innovation is an essential means for companies to remain competitive. Manufacturers need to be constantly innovative — they need to introduce new products, new services and new processes on a regular basis. As the importance of innovation has become recognised over the last few years, it has been discussed extensively in the management literature. For example, in the UK, companies have often been criticised for having good ideas but not bringing them successfully to market. In Germany, there has been extensive public debate on whether high labour costs and taxes are reducing the global competitiveness of German industry and innovation is seen as the best way in which companies can make up for these disadvantages. Although much of the debate on the need for UK and German companies to become more innovative is at the national level, it is at the level of individual companies that this will have to be achieved. Therefore, this report describes survey results and a detailed investigation of how innovation is managed at sixteen individual companies, chosen from the electrical & electronics engineering and engineering sectors in Germany and the UK. The results cover all aspects of the management of innovation, such as the creation of ideas, innovation measures and new product development. These will be of interest to any manager in the manufacturing sector who is wrestling with how to make their company more innovative.
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