An Evaluative Study of Innovation Management Practices in Manufacturing Firms in Palestine
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Heba Al-Haj Ahma
As the increasing of continues awareness of the role of the Palestinian product in supporting and improving the local economy and increasing its chances in competing in the international markets, and because of the important effect of the innovation management in increasing product quality , this research was chosen as a topic to graduation project. This research aims to achieve different objectives, first of all, to assess the current situation of innovation management within the Palestinian manufacturing sector, also to identify if a relationship between the level of innovation management and size of company whether large, medium or small and finally trying to introduce a conceptual model for the product innovation management which can be apply in Palestinian manufacturing firms. Collecting and analyzing data was essential step not only for achieving the above goals but also to answer this questions, do Palestinian manufacturing companies have systematic process to develop their products and what is it? Does the size of the company affect on the level of innovation management? And what is the best practice that could be applied in the manufacturing companies regarding this process? The raw data was generated by distributing a structured questioners amongst 70 company, and conducting interviews with Research & Development R&D department (if exist), for 3 companies which represent all the sizes of the manufacturing companies. By performing survey and case studies analysis, the current situation became clear and the essential need to reorientation the current process was the most important recommendation in this research. Overview Businesses exist in dynamic and competitive environments nowadays. Thus, the number of one strategic goal of businesses is to gain and maintain competitive advantage. By programs of continuous improvements companies try to reduce costs, to enhance quality, and to increase speed of responsiveness to customer needs. Innovation management can be considered as one and very important example for those programs, but what is meant by the innovation management and what are the types of the innovation management? Research Motivation As the increasing of continues awareness of the role of the Palestinian product in supporting and improving the local economy and increasing its chances in competing in the international markets, and because of the important effect of the Innovation Management in increasing product quality and product development process , the research topic was chosen to evaluate the level of Innovation Management in the manufacturing companies in Palestine to introduce them a systematic description of the innovation process as a conclusion to many global researches were conducted to be applied in the Palestinian firms with taking into the consideration the changes and difficulties facing the local market. Research Objectives This project aims: Assess the current situation of innovation management process within Palestinian manufacturing companies. Identify if a relationship between the level of innovation management and size of company whether large, medium or small Introduce a conceptual model that has the ability to manage the innovation process effectively and can be apply in Palestinian manufacturing firms. Description of Steps for Methodology Distribution of the questionnaires amongst 70 manufacturing companies of all sectors and sizes by using web survey. Putting scores for these companies and classifying into 3 groups, each group represented a numbers of companies that have the same size (large, medium, small). Choosing one company that has a highest score from each group. Conducting interviews with Research & Development R&D department (if exist), for these 3 companies which represent the behavior for all manufacturing companies and dealt with these companies as a case studies to study the level of innovation management in Palestine and compared between them. Finally, creating the best practice for product innovation management which can be applied in Palestinian manufacturing companies. Research conclusion The economic success of manufacturing firm depends on its ability to identify the needs of customers and to quickly create products that meet these needs and can be produced at low cost. Achieving these goals is not solely a marketing problem, nor is it solely a design problem or a manufacturing problem; it is a product innovation management problem involving all of these functions. The questionnaire which was distributed and the interviews were held on manufacturing companies in order to measure their level of application of innovation management process within its environment had come up with many results and evidences. Essential need to reorientation the current practice approach at manufacturing sector was the recommendation of this research. Research recommendations The first recommendation is to establish research and development department, because it considers as a very important part from the product innovation process. Appoint special team for the innovation process will be more effective. Focus on new technology helps to increase the product creativity. Essential needs to reorientation the product innovation management process.