Featured Innovation Articles


The Changing Face of Innovation in China

Foreign companies must retool their R&D strategies to keep pace with newly innovative Chinese enterprises.


Three Signals Your Industry Is About to Be Disrupted

Frontiers |

Disruption rarely comes out of nowhere — so if you see these key signs, take action to limit your risk.


Why High-Tech Commoditization Is Accelerating

Knowledge embedded in today’s production and design tools is a powerful force that is leveling the global technology playing field.


Digital Innovation

Implement First, Ask Questions Later (or Not at All)

Frontiers |

Companies used to spend years clarifying business requirements before they would even think of launching new software. Today, cheaper cloud-based apps mean that implementation decisions are made on the fly — and there’s no going back.

Lessons From China’s Digital Battleground

The dramatic rise of China’s digital leaders has put the squeeze on Western internet giants. Western players must learn quickly if they are to get back in the game in the world’s fastest growing digital market.


In Case You Missed It...

12 Essential Innovation Insights

September 12, 2017 | Bruce Posner and Martha E. Mangelsdorf

Innovation is an ongoing challenge for managers — so MIT SMR has combed through the archives to find 12 essential innovation insights, looking for older articles that today’s MIT SMR readers might have missed but that still retain wide relevance.

Innovations in Production & Technology


Why Standards Matter in Innovation

Innovation-Based Technology Standards Are Under Threat

February 2, 2018 | David J. Kappos

The patent system and the standards system, which have together kindled a generation of unparalleled technological advancement, are being wrongly targeted as impediments to future progress. Public policies aimed at weakening the patent and standards systems risk stalling the pace of technological advancement.

Generating New Ideas

Great Ideas Are Getting Harder to Find

Frontiers |

A wide range of evidence shows that U.S. research efforts are rising substantially, but at the same time, research productivity is sharply declining. Optimists hope for a fourth industrial revolution that will raise the bar again, while pessimists lament that most potential productivity growth has already occurred.

Developing Innovative Solutions Through Internal Crowdsourcing

Internal crowdsourcing, which seeks to channel the ideas and expertise of the company’s own employees, allows employees to interact dynamically with coworkers in other locations, propose new ideas, and suggest new directions to management. Because many large companies have pockets of expertise and knowledge scattered across different locations, harnessing the cognitive diversity within organizations can open up rich new sources of innovation.


Creating an Innovative Culture


Lessons From the Maker Movement

Frontiers |

Businesses can innovate and thrive by nurturing a “creator” mindset.

young man watering a big light bulb on dark background

Building the Right Ecosystem for Innovation

Companies seeking tech alliances to stay competitive may benefit from an adaptive ecosystem model.


Why Design Thinking in Business Needs a Rethink

Design thinking needs better alignment with the dynamics of established businesses.


Employee Innovation

If You Cut Employees Some Slack, Will They Innovate?

May 4, 2018 | Yasser Rahrovani, Alain Pinsonneault, and Robert D. Austin

Giving people time and resources to pursue innovation projects can produce extraordinary outcomes — but only if you match your “slack strategy” to employee type. The authors found that different types of employees respond in different ways to slack innovation programs; that different kinds of slack resources are better suited to certain types of employees than others; and that different kinds of slack innovation programs produce different kinds of innovation.