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Organizational Innovation

the successful implementation of creative ideas in organizations.


the production of novel and useful ideas.

Organizational Change

a difference in the form, quality, or condition of an organization over time.

Technology Cycle

a cycle that begins with the birth of a new technology and ends when that technology reaches its limits and is replaced by a newer, substantially better technology.

S curve

a pattern of technological innovation characterized by slow initial progress, then rapid progress, and then slow progress again as a technology matures and reaches its limits.

Innovation Streams

patterns of innovation over time that can create sustainable competitive advantage

Technological Discontinuity

when a scientific advance or a unique combination of existing technologies creates a significant breakthrough in performance or function; what an innovation stream begins with

Discontinuous Change

characterized by technological substitution and design competition.

Technological Substitution

the purchase of new technologies to replace older ones.

Dominant Design

a new technological design or process that becomes the accepted market standard

Design Competition

competition between old and new technologies to establish a new technological standard or dominant design.

Technological Lockout

when a new dominant design (i.e. a significantly better technology) prevents a company from competitively selling its products or makes it difficult to do so.

Incremental Change

the phase of a technology cycle in which companies innovate by lowering costs and improving the functioning and performance of the dominant technological design.

Creative Work Environments

workplace cultures in which workers perceive that new ideas are welcomed, valued, and encouraged.


a psychological state of effortlessness, in which you become completely absorbed in what you're doing and time seems to pass quickly.

Experiential Approach to Innovation

an approach to innovation that assumed a highly uncertain environments and uses intuition, flexible options, and hands-on experience to reduce uncertainty and accelerate learning and understanding.

Design Iteration

a cycle of repetition in which a company tests a prototype of a new product or service, improves on that design, and then builds and tests the improved prototype.

Product Prototype

a full scale, working model that is being tested for design, function, and reliability.


the systematic comparison of different product design or design iterations.


formal project review points used to assess progress and performance.

Multifunctional Teams

work teams composed of people from different departments.

Compression Approach to Innovation

an approach to innovation that assumed that incremental innovation can be planned using a series of steps and that compressing those steps can speed innovation.

Generational Change

change based on incremental improvements to a dominant technological design such that the improved technology is fully backward compatible with the older technology.

Organizational Decline

a large decrease in organizational performance that occurs when companies don't anticipate, recognize, neutralize, or adapt to the internal or external pressures that threaten their survival.

Change Forces

forces that produce differences in the form, quality, or condition of an organization over time.

Resistance Forces

forces that support the existing state of conditions in organizations.

Resistance to Change

opposition to change resulting from self interest, misunderstanding and distrust, and a general intolerance for change.


getting the people affected by change to believe that change is needed.

Change Intervention

the process used to get workers and managers to change their behavior and work practices.


supporting and reinforcing new changes so that they stick.


using formal power and authority to force others to change.

Results Driven Change

change created quickly by focusing on the measurement and improvement of results.

General Electric Workout

a three day meeting in which managers and employees from different levels and parts of an organization quickly generate and act on solutions to specific business problems.

Organization Development

a philosophy and collection of planned change interventions designed to improve an organization's long-term health and performance.

Change Agent

the person formally in charge of guiding a change effort

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