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Innovation, Entrepreneurship and the International Perspective 

MODULE TITLE: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and the International Perspective

 

 

Assessment brief/s:

 

Assignment  (2400 words):

Choose a home country, an industrial sector and a foreign market (e.g. European or Asian; emerging markets or mature economies). You select a case study company and research / analyse the information about the case. Your task is to decide what internationalisation approach (Uppsala, Globalisation or Internationalisation), what internationalisation methods (Exports, Distribution, Setting Up Facilities ...) you would use and how to develop an international venture or expand to the foregin market. You need to avoid repeating what the case study company has already done and try to explore new opportunities and innovative ideas for the company’s growth in the foreign market. Exemplify your answers and explain why? You will have to do a short research of the countries involved.

 

 

This assignment assesses learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.

Module learning outcomes:

1. Critically evaluate the role, processes and nature of innovation and entrepreneurship in organisations.

2. Analyse and explain the contemporary theories on innovation and entrepreneurial behaviours, and how these can be developed by the individual.

3. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the internal and external factors that affect innovation and entrepreneurial outcomes in organisations.

4. Appreciate emergent technology landscape and technological advances in shaping opportunity recognition and disruptive innovation; and develop an understanding of technological entrepreneurship in the digital age.

5. Critically evaluate the policy and regulatory / international environment in supporting and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.

 

6. Analyse the drivers, processes, assessment and decision-making that affect the internationalisation of innovation and entrepreneurship

 

 

 

Module aims:

1. To enable students to develop a comprehensive understanding of entrepreneurship principles and innovation processes in organisations.

2. To explore key concepts in new venture creation process, from idea generation and creative thinking to opportunity identification and implementation, through to continued growth and innovation management.

3. To explore the complex and interconnected nature of innovation and entrepreneurship at individual, organisational, environmental and policy levels with an emphasis on technological entrepreneurship since technological advancement has significant impact upon opportunity- centred new venture creation in the digital era.

4. To equip students with cutting-edge knowledge and skills that are desirable for managing entrepreneurial activities and innovation practice. It will also provide the participant entrepreneurial mindset and skills in enabling start up or an entrepreneur career.

 

 

Brief module summary: This module explores the key concepts of entrepreneurship and Innovation. It will look at the contribution and importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in today’s competitive markets. You will be introduced to ways of generating ideas, searching for opportunities and developing innovative outputs for entrepreneurial organisations, looking at different types of innovation, their business drivers and the key stages of the innovation management process in an international perspective. By developing ideas on the right conditions for innovation, and understanding its interrelated entrepreneurship processes, you will be able to evaluate the principles and values of innovation outcomes and consider how to effectively manage international business ventures using organisational levers of strategy, culture, systems and structure

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 Innovation, Entrepreneurship and the International Perspective 

Technology entrepreneurship focuses on new ventures where development in science and engineering, in general, constitute a core element of the entrepreneurial opportunity. The talent, experience, and actions of entrepreneurs are particularly influential when complex technological advancements play a critical role in the venture. As such, entrepreneurs always search for change and responds to it by exploiting the opportunity presented. An entrepreneur who infuses technology into their business has higher chances of success not only at a local scale but even on international platforms (Boutellier, 2008).

Case Study

This paper focuses on exploring the complex interaction between innovation and entrepreneurship in the digital age, taking the case of InterSystems Corporation, a company based in England with its headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. InterSystems is a software company with its presence in over 23 countries and specializes in providing advanced software technologies for breakthrough applications. It is the engine behind the world’s most essential applications in healthcare, business, and government.

Therefore, the stance of the paper examines the role, nature, and process of innovation in organizations using the above-chosen case and analyzes contemporary theories on innovation and entrepreneurial behaviors. Further, the paper critically examines the technological landscape and advances that InterSystems uses to shape opportunity recognition and enhance technological entrepreneurship. Similarly, the organization's approaches and methods of internationalization are highlighted, citing the critical role they play in the expansion of foreign markets, not only in Europe but across the world.

Role and process of innovation and entrepreneurship in organizations

            In the current digital age, innovation plays a significant role in entrepreneurship as it offers a competitive advantage to organizations on a global portfolio.  According to Chesbrough (2003), innovation has been used in business organizations to develop seamless platforms to integrate and develop connectible applications. One company that has demonstrated the inextricable application of innovative technology in business operations is the InterSystems Corporation. Through its innovative process, the company has developed some of the world's most critical applications and integrated them to support healthcare systems, business organizations, and even government operations.

            To open up new markets, an enterprise needs strong, reliable, and effective communication channels to facilitate feedback mechanisms. Technological advancement has availed numerous communication channels that business organizations can exploit to facilitate the flow of information both internally and externally. Information technology has become such a fundamental part of business enterprises that no organization can virtually survive in today’s competitive market without IT (Scarborough, 2009). Being mindful of this, InterSystems has become a leading champion of innovative solutions in information technology, providing organizations and developing an integrated platform to facilitate business success.

            Over the years, InterSystems has used its innovation to develop a unique design of products following the philosophy of IRIS. Under this philosophy, the design follows the principle of Interoperable, Reliable, Intuitive, and Scalable (IRIS). This is a distinct design principle that differentiates InterSystems Corporation from other Fintech companies. The company has had a competitive advantage in entrepreneurial ventures because of its advanced technological innovations, thus expanding its market and gaining more market shares.

            One of the contributing factors to the successful market expansion by the InterSystems corporation is its capability to apply innovative technology to market research uniquely. The company has increased its market base from Europe to Asia and African countries, with its representatives in over 23 countries. This has been made possible through the application of technology in conducting market research. InterSystems Corporation has engaged in rigorous market research operations using technological tools and empirical analysis of the market trends. The use of innovation in a digital business environment enables forecasting market trends and enhances consumer behavior (Tidd & Bessant, 2009). A business entity that can understand consumer behavior and predict future market trends increases its chances of expanding international operations, thus increasing its share of the market.

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One of the most beneficial uses of technology and innovation is advertising to millions of people worldwide by the click of a button. Arguably, business organizations that conduct advertising through web-based applications can reach many people through various websites and social media. In making its products and services known, InterSystems corporation has used advanced advertisement tools to reach a large target market worldwide, mainly in health and international business organizations.

It is also worthwhile noting that appropriate use of technology in business organizations can facilitate better human relations through enhanced communication systems that are more technology-based. Similarly, smooth management of an enterprise, increased efficiency and mobility, storage and information sharing, identification of new innovative ideas and opportunities, bridging the gap between R&D and commercialization, and entrepreneurial training can all be achieved by proper adoption of relevant technologies in an organization. Therefore, the role of innovation in business is critical in determining its success or failure.

Innovation and entrepreneurial behavior

            The concept of internationalization has been for a long time used to define the process of involvement in international business operations by an enterprise. Through internationalization, an enterprise can achieve horizontal mobility into various markets and consider applying one or a combination of theories and models to achieve the intended objectives. Some of these theories attempt to explain entrepreneurs' behavior and suggest how technology and innovation can be used to improve them for a favorable business outcome.

            Lopes & Palma (2009) postulate that entrepreneurship has been regarded as the primary engine for economic growth and job creation. As such, entrepreneurial behavior has received considerable attention regarding the discovery and exploitation of new business opportunities. Further, these authors argue that launching a new business venture in a technology-oriented environment is most undoubtedly noticeable as businesses venture into new markets. InterSystems Corporation has intensively invested in remote technology to shape entrepreneurial behavior that allows staff to convert their offices into homes. Since entrepreneurs have the will to work for longer hours, giving them remote access to their offices from the comfort of their homes can positively translate into accomplishing their tasks. 

            InterSystems Corporation has created a platform that governments and entrepreneurs can use to build their economy in developing countries. Technological innovations come about when new rules and ideas find practical use via being commercialized by entrepreneurs (Trott, 2008). However, entrepreneurs take risks since the degree of certainty depends on how well they understand the market dynamics and future trends. This is where InterSystems corporation comes in by applying technological support needed by entrepreneurs in the unpredictable business environment. Through its innovation and extensive experience in technological development, the company has developed a cloud-first data platform for building high-performance, machine learning-enabled applications that connect data and application silos.

            Similarly, the InterSystems corporation's management is keen on adopting the appropriate methods for technology-oriented distribution and setting up facilities to offer their services. With numerous representative offices in 23 countries, the company has extensively explored new markets globally to offer technical solutions in the healthcare sector, government defense systems, and private firms. Nonetheless, InterSystems corporation has continued to explore new markets with a particular interest in private entrepreneurs, thus assisting start-ups in developing an integrated platform for data storage, communication channels, and other vital applications that would foster the success of these private entrepreneurial organizations. 

Internal and external organizational factors

            When internal organizational factors are discussed, perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is the managerial aspect. Most technology-based companies operate their businesses in the uncertainty of unchartered waters, calling for an effective managerial team to make decisions even though all factors are not yet clear (Zheng, 2014). The InterSystems corporation’s leadership is skilled and stable, with the current CEO being Phillip T. Ragon, who has had many years of experience in managerial duties.

Since founding InterSystems in 1978, Mr. Ragon has led the company to worldwide prominence in the database, interoperability, and healthcare application markets. Mr. Ragon is a Trustee of the Mass General Brigham health system and a Trustee of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where he also served as Honorary Co-Chair of the MGH Campaign. He is on the Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows. He is also a member of the MIT Corporation, MIT's governing body, and is Co-Chair of the MIT Campaign. Therefore, the team is enjoying stable management from a leader who has a lot of experience, giving the company a competitive advantage in managerial aspects. Similarly, internal policies and the level of technology embraced by an organization are critical in pushing it to the international platform. Internal policies of an organization outline how employees are treated and the procedure of doing things, all of which affect an organization's culture and contribute to the achievement of its set objectives.

External organizational factors greatly influence the application of innovative solutions in entrepreneurship. Any technological solution rolled out in international markets by entrepreneurs faces several factors that can hinder or facilitate its adoption, effectiveness, and achievement of its intended purposes (Barringer, 2008) & (Bessant, 2011).

Since InterSystems corporation deals with technological solutions for healthcare and government systems, they are affected by specific regulations and international policies. Such rules may be patenting rights for technological solutions and the confidentiality that comes with limited access to other third parties. Similarly, the technological landscape itself influences such innovative technologies. Since the company is involved in developing systems for healthcare and government facilities, they must comply with, for example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) that enforces encryption of data management systems. This would ensure that their systems are air-tight and there are no possibilities of data loss or instances of data theft.

The market conditions and adoption of technology affect how a technology-based company operates and must integrate such factors in its decision-making process to remain unique and command a large share of the market (Blundel & Lockett, 2011). InterSystems Corporation has remained consistent in R&D to inform better decisions and conducts market surveys to understand the market trends and other external environmental factors affecting business.

Technological entrepreneurship in the digital age

As the technological landscape shifts with time, business enterprises are making efforts to embrace the changing technology and explore opportunities that would benefit them. With the digital age, most organizations, both profit-driven and non-profit, reduce paperwork and use cloud storage systems for data management. Governments use such systems in defense departments to ensure their safety, reliability, and easy management. Similarly, hospitals have embraced the integrated data management systems with patient information right from their admission, diagnosis, medication, discharge, and follow-up.

Recognizing the role of technological innovation in other sectors, entrepreneurs have intensified the application of information technology and other innovations in their enterprises. To design, develop, run and maintain reliable data management storage systems, InterSystems Corporation has developed impenetrable state-of-the-art systems to serve all these organizations; Governments, Healthcare institutions, and private business enterprises.  The company has come up with a market-disruptive technology that has revolutionized the entire concept of data management systems and yielding maximum benefits for entrepreneurs who embrace technology as one pillar of their core development areas.

Internationalization of innovation and entrepreneurship

            As alluded to in the previous sections, internationalization refers to expanding business activities to international markets. A company that wishes to increase its market share and expand its operations into a foreign market may decide to engage in the internationalization process. In doing so, it acquires new customers and becomes known, thus engages in competition with other businesses already in the international market (Beckinsale, 2006).

Many theories have been propounded that have made a significant contribution to the enterprise internationalization and entry strategy. However, no acceptable conclusion has been made on how firms internationalized and factors that influence firms to choose their strategy. This development necessitates further study on the firm’s internationalization and entry strategy. Furthermore, the firms have been using various approaches in entering their target market. Some prefer to consolidate their position at home and concentrated their efforts on exporting, while others take aggressive steps and invested directly in the foreign market.

Thus, different firms have different entry strategies based on various decisions. This was aimed to gain deeper insight into how firms enter the target market. Therefore, it can be said that InterSystems Corporation can adopt partnerships with other international technology-based organizations and establish owned subsidiaries. Moreover, owners and management of such a company would exert their influence on the firm's strategic direction. The choice of entry strategy is mainly influenced by the firm’s vision, business offers, resources, and capacity, while market conditions are considered exogenous factors.

Similarly, InterSystems corporation should conduct studies in a country they wish to expand their operations and determine its stability. This would also provide an opportunity to understand the local laws of doing business in the country. Further, the corporation can get into partnership with other international businesses operating that same line of business. Additionally, local partners would be helpful as they are well-conversant with the nation's business landscape, thus increasing chances of success.

 

Conclusion

            InterSystems Corporation is an innovation-driven company that provides technological solutions for healthcare information management systems, government, and private enterprises. The company has demonstrated exceptional innovation in adopting technological solutions, playing a critical role in fostering entrepreneurship and entrepreneur behavior. The paper has conducted an in-depth analysis of the internal and external factors affecting technological adoption in international businesses regarding this company. Also, it evaluates the role and nature of innovation and entrepreneurship in an organization. From the preceding, it is apparent that technological innovation significantly affects entrepreneurs' economic development and prosperity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Bessant, J. & Tidd, J (2011) Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 3rd ed. (e-book) Chichester: Wiley. ISBN: 978-1-118-99309-5

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Beckinsale, M., Levy, M., and Powell, P. (2006). 'Exploring internet adoption drivers in SMEs,' Electronic Markets, 16(4), pp. 361-370.

Blundel, R. and Lockett, N. (2011), Exploring Entrepreneurship: Practices and Perspectives, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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