Managing Innovation in A Supplier Dominated Firm: Considering The Way Forward

Poulsom, Nigel (2007) Managing Innovation in A Supplier Dominated Firm: Considering The Way Forward. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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One of the most important things to bear in mind when considering innovation is that innovation is essentially change. How that change is managed will determine how innovative a firm actually is and the ability to manage innovation successfully will hopefully lead to a competitive advantage.

Sri Jentayu Global are undeniably a supplier dominated firm and do to some degree depend upon their suppliers. However, they are not as dependent as one might imagine or indeed as the theory may suggest. It is true that Sri Jentayu Global rely upon their suppliers for production inputs as the main source of new technology. They do not however rely upon their suppliers for improvements in their production methods or the technology that they use to produce highly effective body armour. Their ability to continually innovate and how that innovation is managed throughout the organisation, whether it is product or process innovation, is a competence that may lead to a competitive advantage most small manufacturing firms could only aspire to.

It is true that Sri Jentayu Global may not be able to change technological trajectory alone and this is possibly because body armour is such a niche product with a very limited market, within a highly competitive and volatile industry where entry to new markets is the biggest barrier.

Sri Jentayu Global are indeed path-dependant and their learning is indeed incremental but it is believed that their core competencies would most definitely allow them to change paths. They seem more than capable of achieving this, whether it be through vertical or horizontal integration or technology related product diversification. The result, no matter what, would be the development of new competencies. It might even be their existing competencies that allow them to consider a number of strategic alternatives, which will ultimately lead to sustainability through growth, entry to new markets and continual improvements in their product and processes.

A contributing factor to all of this could possibly be the size of the firm, its structure, and its need to survive. Its management of innovation to date may be successful but sustainability may require some changes in managing that innovation. The management team appear to be more than capable of achieving positive results but a much steadier approach may be required when entering into strategic alliances with the large organisations currently being considered. The proposed strategic alliances, if successful, will no doubt lead to new competencies in a variety of areas but the management of the alliances needs careful consideration as no doubt any potential partners have their own reasons for entering into an alliance and they will certainly

not be altruistic.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2007
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2022 16:04

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