Module 7: Technology Leadership and Innovation – Part 1 & Module 8: Technology Leadership and Innovation – Part 2

A recap of the fourth week modules for ICS 698 Problems in Information Systems Capstone Seminar (3 credits)
“Advanced Research & Development Management Seminar” as taught by Dr. Jay E. Gillette, Ph.D. at the Center for Information & Communication Sciences, Ball State University, Summer Term I 2016.  

Objectives for Module 7:  Technology Leadership & Innovation – Part 1

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  1. Assess the value of Brian Arthur’s concept of Nature of Technology Leadership
  2. Describe the value of using Rogers’ S-Curve Analysis for forecasting
    Compare and contrast national and global views of Technology Leadership


“Economies evolve as their technologies evolve”

The puck is going to move

How do you get ahead of the game?  You will pay attention to how technologies change and evolve.

If you must skim, and can only read one chapter of an assigned book, just read (besides the table of content) the Index.  “As they say at Berkeley, if there is no index [in the book], throw it in the trash can.”

A little rhetorical, one of Dr. Gillette’s favorite books, How to Think like Da Vinci, has no index.  JEG considers this one of the weaknesses of the book.  However, it has a very good table of contents.

In [a good grad school] Grad School we read the index and table of contents, it’s a fast way to get the content of a book.  Some indexes are better than others are.  Flip around to things that are interesting; you don’t read it from start to finish.

The Phenomenon of Technology.  Increasing Returns and the New World of Business.

PRP – Private Research Project

Bookshelf just on Negotiation

W. Brian Arthur’s The Nature of Technology – What It Is and How It Evolves

Brian Arthur is known to be a major scientist in the realm of Complexity Theory.  The organization that has been most influential in complexity theory is the Santa Fe Institute.  Arthur is a founding member.

Complexity Theory and Organizations:

Compare to Thomas S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolution – have a “Wikipedia understanding” of this book

“[Arthur’s book] did for technology innovation what Kuhn’s book about our understanding of scientific discovery—in our era it may turn out to be as important about technology as Charles Darwin’s work was about biology.”

“A better understanding of scientific understanding of some natural phenomenon–some phenomenon—is how technology arises because it’s applied to a problem that is better understood through science.”

Science-based R&D

“Technology Creates Technology” – fundamental conclusion from W.B. Arthur’s book

Everybody tries to make technology organic, Arthur does it too.  That technology grows from technology.  The reason why people like to use this metaphor is because human beings understand a lot about organic growth.    On the basis of our agricultural economy we learned how things grow and decay.  The idea that technology grows… it doesn’t really grow.  Technology is not organic in that sense, but it makes sense to us that way.

“Technology is combined in new ways to meet new needs.”

ICS 660 — Human Factors, Needs Assessment and User-driven Design, we spoke of Usability already in Shneiderman’s book The New Computing is About What People Can Do.  He focuses on peoples’ needs.


Four Types of Innovations:

  1. Standard engineering
  2. Radically novel technologies
  3. Structural deepening of a technology
  4. Whole body of brand new technologies

Alternate Innovation Type Matrix:

Twist on Clausewitz –

“Innovation is simply the accomplishing of the tasks of the economy by other means.”

Pyramid of Technology – Technologies build on one another like a pyramid.  That is a phrase/expression that comes from Bryan Arthur.  “Technologies don’t grow, they build upon each other like a pyramid.”

Do you think we will have technology advances based off where technology is today?

That is where the puck is going.  The economy will change on the basis of the new technologies that are built are built on the technologies of today.  So that leaves us in a technology leadership position.  If we can understand how technology works itself.

Technology Leadership – In order to be leaders we have to have vision and change and we have to understand how technology works and how it evolves in a non-biological way, but it does evolve and change.  That’s what evolution means, change.



Objectives for Module 8:  Technology Leadership & Innovation – Part 2

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast the concepts of Open Innovation vs. Closed Innovation
  2. Construct a critique of science-based R&D


Innovation curve starts with uncertainty, a good thing

Open v. Closed Innovation

Open Innovation
  • Paradigm using external and internal ideas
  • Wealth of insight and knowledge
  • Combine the best internal resources, skills, and POV from within and without to create a superior product/idea
Closed Innovation
  • Temporary advantage but in the long-term suffers.
  • Help secures intellectual property and secure one’s competitive advantage

A Square root is the sign of a radical and radical means fundamental at the root.  At the root is to be open.

Knowledge is a source of innovation, combined with knowledge and communication – key to company success