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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 Pattern of Innovation

a pattern of technological innovation characterized by slow initial process then rapid progress and then slow progress again as a technology matures and reach its limits

Innovation Streams

patterns of innovation over time that can create sustainable competitive advantage

Technological Discontinuity

the phase of an innovation stream in which a scientific advance or unique combination of existing technologies creates a significant breakthrough in performance or function

Discontinuous Change

the phase of a technology cycle characterized by technological substitution and design competition

Technological Substitution

the purchase of new technologies to replace older ones

Design Competition

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

Dominate Design

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

Technological Lockout

the inability of a company to competitively sell its products because it relied on old technology or a nondominant design

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 assumes a highly uncertain environment 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 designs 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 assumes 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 misunderstandings and distrust or 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"


The use of 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

Transition Management Team

a team of 8 to 12 people whose full-time job is to manage and coordinate a company's change process

Organizational 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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