SUNConferences, COMA '13

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The Relationship between an Innovation Strategy and a Technology Strategy
Bernard Katz, Corne Schutte, Niek du Preez

Last modified: 2013-08-21


It has been said that structure follows strategy. Therefore a clear understanding of the differences between a technology strategy and an innovation strategy with regards to their purpose, their form and their development process is essential for a company to decide on the correct structure with which to execute their technology and innovation activities. Structure refers to the processes, people, information and tools required to execute a strategy successfully.

The aim of this paper is to provide clarity on the differences and the relationship between a company’s technology strategy and its innovation strategy. Technology and innovation strategies are often viewed as synonymous with each other. However this paper shows that they are two different but connected strategies. The technology strategy guides a company in decisions regarding the types of technologies it should be pursuing and therefore the skills, knowledge and equipment needed. The innovation strategy guides the company in decisions regarding the type, level and impact of its innovation and therefore the required innovation process and systems.

The paper initially focuses on the definition of each strategy, which includes their purpose. The paper goes on to present the relationship between these two strategies and how they align with other business strategies. The strategy development process for a technology strategy, from the literature, is compared to a newly introduced process for the development of an innovation strategy. Finally the effect each of these strategies has on the company’s structure is investigated.

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