Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Innovation in business plays an important role in an increasingly competitive and changing economy, experts said at an international conference held on Thursday in HCM City.
Nguyễn Đình Thọ of the International School of Business at the University of Economics HCM City said that innovation was particularly crucial in transitioning economies like Việt Nam and that firms incapable of innovating would find it difficult to compete with other companies.
Innovation includes the generation, development and implementation of new ideas, products or processes that improve companies’competitive advantage and performance, Thọ explained.
Dr Bahaudin Mujtaba of the US’s Nova Southern University described innovation “as the process and outcome of creating something new which is of value.”
Outcomes of innovation include new products, new ways of organising, new markets, new processes and new sources of supply. “Innovation can be a better way of doing things or an improvement to an existing product or invention,” he said.
Innovation requires creativity and the ability to see a problem in several dimensions and to truly understand the problem at hand, Mujtaba said.
Process innovation is achieved through the creation of a new means of producing, selling or distributing an existing product or service, while technical innovation is simply the creation of a new product or service, such as a new line of automobiles or the introduction of cellular telephones.
Administrative innovation is the creation of a new organisational design which supports the creation, production and delivery of services or products, such as a virtual team meeting without all members being in the same room or even working at the same time.
Most companies see the importance of innovation, Mujitaba said, adding that innovation success is a consequence of creating a culture in which it can take place.
“The key to their success has been to create the conditions in which innovation can arise from any one of a number of directions, including lucky accidents, and there is a deliberate attempt to avoid putting too much structure in place, because this would constrain innovation,” he added.
One way to spur creativity and innovation is to allow employees to work on their own and in their own time on innovation projects, accessing resources in a non-formal way, he said.
The one-day international conference served as a platform for researchers and practitioners to debate recent insights on innovation in various industries.
The conference was organised by the HCM City Open University in co-operation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, Berlin School of Economics and Law, and other foreign universities. —VNS