Innovation is about big leaps forward, ?eureka? moments and radical breakthroughs ?or is it?

Innovation is about big leaps forward, ?eureka? moments and radical

breakthroughs ?or is it? Using examples from manufacturing and services

make a case for the importance of incremental innovation

Creativity and Business Wealth Assignment Brief


This module considers how creativity and innovation lead to sustainable business.

Students will develop appreciation of the role of culture, behavioural structures,

systems and policies at global, national and organisational level on the

development and sustainability of innovation.

The module explores the application of creative problem solving and the process

of creativity with a focus on the role of team leadership, and the influence of

corporate culture.

Students will become familiar with tools and processes that will enable them to

become more creative, innovative and entrepreneurial in their business attitudes

and practices.


1. Critically evaluate the development of creativity and innovation

and its impact on sustainable organisations

2. Develop extensive and critical knowledge of the criteria for

creating an innovative organisation

3. Critically review the structures needed to create an

organisational environment that facilitates creative work

practices in order to enhance business effectiveness

4. Develop an in-depth knowledge of the contribution of other

business functions in enhancing organisational innovation and



This module has three pieces of assessments, namely;

Group case



report – 50% of






written essay ?






?Group Case Study (50%)

Exploring sources of innovation: Aravind Eye Clinics Case Study

In this assessment students will be split into groups of no more than 5

students. The groups will be given the Aravind Case Study (attached) which


is based on topics covered during the main lectures. The assignment group is

required to analyse the case study by firstly presenting the situation analysis

of the case study and then addressing the following 2 questions;

1. Discuss the basic forces (push and/or pull) which have

been the source of innovation at Aravind Eye Clinics in

India. Your discussion should include examples of other

innovations in your country which have come about due

to similar forces

2. You are a consultant to a small social enterprise in your

country which wishes to emulate the success of Aravind.

They need advice on an innovation strategy that takes

lessons from Aravind Eye Clinics. What would you

advise them?

Each group should produce a written analysis of the case study in a form of a

report of no more than 2500 words. The content of the report should include

? A brief introduction to the case study

? A situation analysis highlighting the main issues surrounding

Aravind the organisation

? Answers addressing each of the 2 questions. The answers should

be well justified by being based on an in-depth analysis of facts

researched wider than the case study itself. The answer should

also demonstrate students understanding of underlying theory.

Below is the marking schedule for this report;





Situation analysis covering Aravind?s organisational, industry 20%

and global context

Each question has total of marks of 30% which are split as 60%


Presentation of a well justified answer should have

(a) evidence of understanding of underlying theory

(topics as mentioned above) (10%)

(b) evidence of having researched wider than the case

study content (10%)

(c) Giving a well justified answer to the question asked


Presentation and referencing




Individual Essay (50%)

Write an essay of no more than 2,000 words answering the following


Innovation is about big leaps forward, ?eureka? moments and radical

breakthroughs ?or is it? Using examples from manufacturing and services

make a case for the importance of incremental innovation

Marking criteria


Weighting Marks and Comments


demonstrates 30

critical understanding of







Well argues points on the 30




creative style of an

individual vs. assessment

of absolute creativity


of 15

research/wider reading

Use of relevant examples 15

Correct referencing



and 5


Overall comment


Aravind Case Study expected answer

Here students are

expected to show understanding of

innovation sources as discussed in

Topic 5. In the case of Aravind, as it is

typical in the ?bottom of the pyramid?

and developing countries? pull is the

main source of innovation. In this case

the high prevalence of blindness being

caused by cataracts and exorbitantly

priced medical services which were

not affordable for the masses.

Students might be able to identify

?push? factors as being the availability

of highly trained medical, IT and

other professionals which now exist in

countries like India. They should be

able to identify examples of similar

situations which might have brought

about innovations in their home



2. Students can approach

this from different angles, but we

would expect their advice to


small social enterprise to show

understanding of;

? factors which have made Aravind as an organization

successful. These factors should include, optimum

use of highly skilled human resources e.g.

surgeons, efficient recruitment of supporting staff

e.g. nurses, the ability to organise effective

institutions that can attract the volumes of patients

(or customer groups being served), a cheaper way

to manufacture some of the basic products and

tools in use e.g. the lens in the case of Aravind

? challenges or opportunities that their chosen small

firm might face/take advantage of if they are to

emulate Aravind

? the innovation sources as discussed in Topic 5 and

the other topics in the core text.

Essay question expected answer

Innovation is about big leaps forward, ?eureka? moments and radical

breakthroughs ?or is it? Using examples from manufacturing and services

make a case for the importance of incremental innovation.

Here students are expected to show understanding of the innovation process.

They need to show understanding that most times one of the difficulties

businesses face in trying to manage innovation is that they make

assumptions about its nature. For example, there is a focus on the

?breakthrough nature? and discount the value of small increments of change

whose impact only appears in cumulative form.

Students should show appreciation of the difference between ?invention?

which is coming up with a bright idea ? and ?innovation? ?which is the

whole process of taking that idea into successful implementation and use.

Students can touch on how often there is an assumption that once a

breakthrough has been made innovation stops and imitation begins ?and in

doing so businesses might neglect the fact that adoption of something new in

a particular context can still have a marked effect, even if the original

innovation took place decades ago. They should support these arguments

with real-life examples.

Students can also touch on how when a new product is launched or a new

process is introduced the early stages involve a rapid cycle of high frequency

problem solving activities. The bugs are taken out of the system, the

particular limitations on bottlenecks identified and dealt with, minor

improvements in usability and reliability identified, and so on. This phase is

essentially one of sustained incremental innovation but focused on a clear

strategic target –that of getting a new product or process to work effectively.

What seems to happen is that for a given set of technological and market

conditions there is a long period of relative stability during which a

continuous stream of variations around a basic innovation theme take place.

Essentially this is product/process improvement along the lines of ?doing

what we do, but better?. Here there are several examples they can touch on,

for example, the Bic ballpoint pen was originally developed in 1957 but

remains a strong product with daily sales of 14 million units worldwide.

Although superficially the same shape closer inspection reveals a host of

incremental changes that have taken place in materials, inks, ball technology,

safety features, etc.

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