How business schools are influencing innovation
“In his book “What are universities for?” Stefan Collini (2012) claims that one of the prime objectives of higher education is to be a center for innovation and creative thinking. Despite this, many critics are quick highlight that some of the most famous entrepreneurs and innovators were dropouts from the university system. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson are the frequently used examples. However, this gives an incomplete vision of the story. As this article will show, innovation is at the heart of the strategy of most business schools today and the work done can not only have a direct shor term impact on the business world, but also create a innovative mindset for young graduates which will stay with them throughout their career.”
“Innovation and its immediate impact on the business world
Ask most people to link a name to the iPhone and Steve Jobs would of course be the overwhelming choice. Someone unlikely to be mentioned in Harvard Business Professor, Clayton Christensen. However, it is Christensen’s research in managing innovation that led to the decision to make the iPhone. “The Innovator’s Dilemma” became Jobs’ favorite book and he was quick to adopt the principle that companies may have to cannibalize their own products before the competition could do so. It was this idea that led Jobs to authorize the production of the iPhone knowing that it would ultimately destroy the iPod that was generating 70% of Apple’s revenues at that time. This is one prime example of a theoretical model leading to new products. Research then clearly can have a direct impact on innovation in the business world.”
“The University of Cambridge is another excellent example of higher education contributing to business. The UK’s second oldest university has set up a strategic partnership under the Cambridge Cluster. This includes 1500 technology based firms working in partnership with different research centers at the various faculties. The results so far have been impressive including the creation of 14 companies that can boast revenues of over $1 billion. In the past 20 years, it this university/business innovation partnership has let to the creation of more than 300 high tech ventures.””
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Roche, L. & Thomas, M. (2014, Nov/Dec). How Business Schools Inspire Innovation: Think Fast. The AACSB Bized Magazine pp.21-22.