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Innovation as a Contemporary Issue in Business


There are severs approaches that can be applied by manager in order to survive the economic hard times that have constantly characterized the new millennium. Change and innovation is now equated to the survival through turbulent times. When businesses attain a very strong economic advantage it means that they are uniquely placed ahead of their competitors and can survive the economic recession. Currently managers have come to realize and appreciate that change of strategy and innovation is critical in enduring downturn and perhaps the only tactic to maintain the business growth trajectory. The only way a business can stay ahead of competitors in economic crisis. This paper will analyze the approaches that managers can employ to get through recession. Basically recession is a very big problem that has seen business close down. Closing down is the worst nightmare for managers of any organization. There are however companies that have been able to come up with totally new idea that is so controlling, so fascinating that they pick up with very little outlay. Facebook company for instance.

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Accepting the Dread of Uncertainty

Currently many organizations’ managers are very scared about the turbulent times in the business world. This fear has often been an obstacle to innovation. This therefore signifies that top manager should make an effort to overcome this fear (Daft, 2009, p. 23). Research indicates that at the level of normal employees, this comes with too much fear about uncertainty of their jobs and this affects performance and individual creativity. However there are employees that continue to work very hard and keep up the objectives of the company (Daft, 2009, p. 23). It’s therefore the duty of the managers to openly and vividly communicate the organization’s vision, plans that are underway to achieve the vision and also to discuss the job security with employees.

When there is fear, the managers tend to concentrate on the short-term outcomes, cost cutting, reducing investments, avoiding risks and expecting unrealistic return. Nonetheless, visionary managers should shun such typical approaches and take the uncertainty in economy as an opportunity (Daft, 2009, p. 23). Lafley a CEO of Procter and Gamble states that it’s very good to innovate during recession and bring new products to the business and present more value to clients. Accordingly, to invest in new products and services in the recession can efficiently enlarge the gap with competitors (Miozzo & Dewick, 2002, p. 989).

This approach is very strategic as it reveals that when worker face clear cut challenges, they become very creative in response to that. Instead of searching where to cut the costs, the managers should structure the recent economic conditions into specific concerns for which creative solutions can be found (Clegg, et al, 2008, p. 56). For instance, re-investing launching markets more successfully or continuing with new projects and completing the in time.

The recent economic problems have placed managers in very tough situations that have never been experienced before. The tried and tested strategies that worked previously are no longer relevant and managers need to come up with new plans to increase inventiveness and innovation (Clegg, et al, 2008, p. 56). The tactic is not a simple recipe but there need to be a comprehensive approach that will address the specific problems that the business faces on the market. Nonetheless, there are some important points that need to be in survival plans.

Prioritized and objective assortment: managers can ensure that they are investing in the correct projects. While other firms are concentrating exclusively on base business, it should be that main concern of the business to generate new business to survive (Clegg, et al, 2008, p. 56).

Greater value: managers should realize that due to the economic downturn, clients are very cautious with what they buy. This means that the customers are now exercising greater discretion that ever before they make their purchasing choices. The products or services that are to be provided should be meaningfully differentiated so that the business that regains its competitive advantage (Knights, D & Willmott, 2007, p 87).

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Hidden needs: it is very important for managers to listen to the end consumers keenly so as to be able to discover the unmet needs. The trick is that such needs are very easy to discover during crises like recession or when there is dire need for value for money which is very clear during economic intricacy (Knights, D & Willmott, 2007, p 87).

Corporate culture: managers are the ones responsible fro creating and communicating the corporate responsibility for the organization. As a consequence, managers are required to foster a culture of innovativeness that is founded on the worker proficiency to create competitive advantage (Knights, D & Willmott, 2007, p 87). Essentially there is no better moment to do this. Managers can however champion the worker’s idea that deal with the major issues.

Communication: during recession, it is very important not to keep away from employees and clients rather it is high time managers sought creative ways of passing their information of hope and value (Mitchell & Coles, 2003, p.15). Communication comes with partnerships where managers can be able to leverage capacities, skills and understanding of organization to drive the innovation, increase offerings and realize economies of scales (Miozzo & Dewick, 2002, p. 989).

Creating Business Ambassadors

When there is a change in the market, survival of businesses relies on very calculated company strengths. The employees and customers are a very strong aspect of business. When employees are given the best working environment, they tend to be hardworking and innovative. Customers on the other hand can communicate back to the business when they feel that their needs are being met well (Knights, D & Willmott, 2007, p 87). Managers should understand that customer satisfaction will keep them on the market. Customers who get satisfied with products or services they purchase tend to come back. During recession, managers need to ensure that the quality of they products is not compromised (Miozzo & Dewick, 2002, p. 989). The customers should not be exploited by the firm to meet other overhead costs. When this is achieved tactfully the business will have ambassadors who will market it’s and thus helping that firm to maintain its competitive advantage (Howard, 1993, p 56).

During downturn, customer loyalty becomes a very important weapon. Managers can be sure that there is strong sales-force who gave back feedback and allowed the business to innovate their products to meet unique needs (Howard, 1993, p 56).

Extra Mile Effort

Customers are a great accessory to the business however many suppliers think that once the product or service has been delivered, then their job is done. If this is what a business is going to do then it’s clear that it will be easily replaced as a supplier. Managers need to invest some time to appreciate the issues that influence their customer’s needs (Goffin & Perkins, 2001, p 34). Managers can ensure that the business is actively involved in making the customers work better, very effective and more receptive to challenges. This way, the business is able to come up with new products or innovations that specifically address the plight of its customers (Wilson, 2007, p 2; Mitchell & Coles, 2003, p.15). More so the bond can be very strong when the services and products were given during hard times. When times get harder like during a recession, then these customers will definitely come back to the business for more assistance as they know that the business caters for their needs specifically (Miozzo & Dewick, 2002, p. 989).

Hiring and Maintaining

This approach is very tricky because it gives the managers the motivation to come up with retention ideas to keep their employees when there is no cash. A strong and united work team is very critical to the business. Having the best workforce is a major competitive advantage a company can have (Wilson, 2007, p 2). However, resilience in motivating the talented individuals to join the business and be able to retain them even through hard times is imperative. This calls for high levels of creativity and inventiveness especially when the market place is experiencing changes in demand, taste, money supply, and priorities. If managers want to survive economic hard times, they need to have a united workforce (Wilson, 2007, p 2). However considering that there will be no dollars flowing; managers need to find other incentives to keep the employees in the company.

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This approach embraces the fact that if a firm wants the employees to be fully committed; then they have to be given a chance to bring into play their strengths and exploit their potentials (Mitchell & Coles, 2003, p.18). Though the management should support and train workers to meet company objectives and goals, employees should also be supported in improving their skills and their quest for new challenges (Narayanan, 2001, p 157). Employees with fresh ideas are supported to build on them, given proper training and those who with to upgrade their credentials are fully supported. Through this way the workforce becomes the greatest resource for the business and can innovate clever ways of doing business in a way that the management had never imagined. Some firma have been able to cling on their hand-picked resource during difficult times when businesses plunge about 50% down. Key employees have been seen to take pay cuts and as a consequence the businesses have been able to mitigate layoffs during crises (Wilson, 2007, p 2). Actually innovativeness in management can be very beneficial in regaining the business’ competitive advantage.

Getting to Fundamentals during Hard Times

There could be nothing more catastrophic than using 20th century tactics to deal with business problems in the 21st century. This means that even last year’s strategy should be re-evaluated. However before re-investing in a new approach and implementing it there need to be a well though decision making process concerning the principles and concepts that will support the effort in the first place (Hatch, 2006, p. 67).

In any business organization, the basic principle could be the price, product or service quality, consistency, or compatibility. Many businesses however tend to focus on their relationship with the clients. Being able to establish a close long-term associated with customers is very important as these customers are core to the business and so a managers can be justified to invest more of their energy in them (Narayanan, 2001, p 158). If the business is facing problems, then the customers are too. However, more that before they have to be made to understand that the business is dedicated to assisting them to adapt to the unstable economy and carry on succeeding (Hatch, 2006, p. 67). The management can go t the basic; carrying out investigation to establish why some customer relationships had weakened, suggest new tactics to make sure that these relationships are better upheld and enhance old ones.

Assess Change in Buyer Behaviour and Needs

Consumer behaviour is commonly described as the study of the factors that determine how and why clients purchase consumer goods and services. The analysis of such factors attempts to find out why, when, where, how and what individual do or don’t to purchase certain goods (Hatch, 2006, p. 67). Generally it is very difficult to evaluate how people come to make certain decision though peripherally it appears to be obvious. For this reason, researchers have affirmed that there are several elements that play part in the overall buyer behaviour and cover a variety of subjects including sociology, psychology, anthropology, and economics (Narayanan, 2001, p 159). The customer needs and requirements are the central determinants of how and why people shop. However with the current development in business, competition is high and people have a variety of choices to pick from. For a business to be able to win customers, managers should be able produce or offer products and services that; meet the specific customer demands, affordable and are expedient (Hatch, 2006, p. 67). Manipulating the customers psychology can be of great impact on the business as one can perceive what the customers want and design exactly that and therefore win a lot of customers. Commoditization works very well (Mitchell & Coles, 2003, p.15)


Being able to achieve a unique competitive advantage is very critical to surviving the recession. Innovation has been a very strong approach of doing this. Tough times call for strategic measures. Changes in market can be countered by appropriate change from managers to ensure that the business gaols are still met in a different economic situation.


Clegg, S., Ornerier, M., & Patsies, T. 2008. Managing and Organisations, 2nd Ed. London Sage.

Daft, R. 2009. New Era of Management. 9th Ed. Cengage. Mason, Ohio

Goffin, K & Perkins C. 2001. The Recession: An Innovation Opportunity. Cranfield University School of Management

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Hatch, M. 2006. Organization Theory. 2nd Ed. Oxford University Press. Oxford, NY

Howard, J.A (1993). Marketing: Executive and Buyer Behaviour. Columbia University Press. New York, NY

Knights, D & Willmott, H. 2007. Introducing Organizational Behaviour & Management. Cengage. London

Mitchell, D & Coles, C. 2003. The Ultimate Competitive Advantage of Continuing Business Model Innovation. Journal of Business Strategy. Vol 24: Issue 5. Pp 15 – 22

Miozzo, M & Dewick, P. 2002. Building Competitive Advantage: Innovation And Corporate Governance In European Construction. Research Policy. Vol 31, Issues 6. Pp 989 – 1008

Narayanan, V. K. 2001, Managing Technology and Information For Competitive. Advantage, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey

Wilson, F. 2007. Recession-proofing: Resilience (The new competitive advantage). PROFIT Magazine. Landsbridge University. Web.

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