Madichie, N.O. (2009), "Innovation and Enterpreneurship", Management Decision, Vol. 47 No. 3, pp. 533-534. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740910946778
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
As Trott (2005, p. 13) once argued the subject of innovation management is often covered in terms of entrepreneurship. This connection is also made by Burns (2008, p. 287) who pointed out that “Innovation does not happen as a random event […] central to the process are the entrepreneurs.” Bessant and Tidd seem to have responded to Trott's suggestion and received support from Burns' book on what determines success in corporate entrepreneurship.
In the book, Innovation and Enterpreneurship, Bessant and Tidd provide what is arguably “the almost perfect one semester textbook” for students interested in fully understanding how entrepreneurship can be nurtured by innovation.
The book is split in four parts consisting of 12 chapters, which unpack the dynamics of existing and potential entrepreneurial activities. Chapter 1 introduces the reader to what the innovation imperative really means, this argument is further boosted in chapter 4 on innovative manufacturing. In chapter 5 the authors discuss innovation in the context of “new product and service development.” Chapter 8 then highlights the characteristics of entrepreneurs under its title “entrepreneurship and new ventures”. Chapters 9, 10 and 11 deconstruct the innovation concept by linking it with social entrepreneurship, growth and sustainability, and Globalisation and development. In the final chapter 12 the imperative of entrepreneurship and innovation is reiterated in what the authors rightly alluded to – “making it happen!”
As already identified, the text is split in four parts which highlight the developmental cycle – its construction and deconstruction – of innovation and entrepreneurship – in a logical sequence – Principles, Context, Practice and Action. Three chapters are deserving of more emphasis in this review – Chapter 1 (from part I), Chapter 5 (in part II) and Chapter 12 (in part IV).
Starting with chapter 1, which is entitled “the innovation imperative” – the authors set the stage by undertaking a broad overview of the innovation construct. In this opening chapter, Bessant and Tidd clearly highlighted how much talked about the innovation concept has become in recent years and especially how national governments across the globe have scrambled to include it in their priority lists. More importantly, the authors have also emphasised the complexity of the concept especially in the light of managing the process. The chapter also has a very powerful case study that unravels the mystery of innovation in the music industry.
In Chapter 5, the authors explore the nature of service versus product development with more emphasis on the former. The whole range of service development and delivery is provided and the requisite tools and technology for ensuring effective service innovation are discussed. In this chapter also another strong case study is presented focusing on the development and delivery of digital TV services in the UK. This is a contemporary phenomenon as the country braces itself for the digital switchover.
Chapter 12 wraps up the innovation/ entrepreneurship relationship by providing tips for managers of organisations on how to make innovation happen. This chapter presents a catalogue of action plans – from how to measure innovation performance, through how to learn from “mistakes management” – involving insiders and more importantly “learning from outside the box.” Indeed this chapter summarises the issues raised and developed in the preceding chapters – notably how to generate ideas (including how to deal with the unexpected), select the most appropriate innovation strategy (and communicate this, the best way possible) and the more crucial task of implementation. As the authors acknowledged in the preface (see p. xii): “In Part IV we identify the steps necessary to make innovation and entrepreneurship happen, and suggest an action plan for translating ideas into practice[…]”
Although the text is consistent with the trend in the industry – i.e. keeping it simple and short without losing too much detail – there are still some areas for improvement, albeit primarily more structural than content specific gaps. In the light of this, perhaps chapters 10 and 11 could be included in part IV as they complement chapter 12 and also have the potential to justify a more balanced four‐part framework of the text. Indeed chapter 10 – “innovation for growth and sustainability” is as much an action plan as chapter 11 – “innovation, globalisation and development.”
This minor structural anomaly has nonetheless done very little or nothing to hamper or limit the contribution of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to its budding field of endeavour. Indeed the text would be of interest to nascent as well as established entrepreneurs, top and middle managers as well as students on entrepreneurship related courses of study. In a nutshell this is a one‐stop shop, modern and contemporary, and an absolute “must read” as well as a “must keep”!
Burns, P. (2008), Corporate Entrepreneurship: Building the Entrepreneurial Organisation, 2nd ed., Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.
Trott, P. (2005), Innovation Management and New Product Development, 3rd ed., Pearson Education, Harlow.