In the current competitive environment that is constantly tightening in the brand and events management industry, companies are forced to seek alternative ways of being competitive (Do et al., 2016). The most suitable remedy to such a problem would entail revamping an organizations culture so as to seek innovations and to maximize the potential of the organization and its personnel. Innovation is the best approach for an organization to take when attempting to renew its business practices and discover varying ways to compete (Vrontis, Bresciani and Giacosa, 2016). Tucker (2002), states that ultimately innovativeness tends to be beneficial for the consumers, impresses shareholders and stockholders, and keeps the organization one step ahead of the competition. Still, such culture of innovativeness within an organization is also applicable and essential on a large scale too. It is because innovations account for an increase in competitiveness and improvement in productivity and efficiency. According to Tucker, (2002) such factors play a vital role in the creation of new job opportunities and also result in increased wages which in return sparks a growth of the national economy.
Making a culture of innovation is a troublesome test in any organization. Administration can't simply wave their hands and tell everybody they should be innovative from the specific day forward and pronounce achievement. Nor is it likely that representatives will persuade their administration to take after Google and give representatives one day every week off from typical work to concentrate all alone imaginative and innovative thoughts (Duarte Alonso and Bressan, 2016). While a quick move to a culture of innovation is improbable, a slower relocation way is conceivable. In a domain where innovation tended to sit tight for business heading and execute to that bearing, we are presently observing designing pitching the business on new bearings to investigate. The progressions from making persistent adapting some portion of the way of life have not been quick or simple, yet they have been sensational (Kash, 2010).
Change is coming. Innovations, for example, manmade brainpower, propelled mechanical autonomy, systems, propelled producing and synergistic associated stages will absolutely disturb many associations' plans of action inside the following couple of years. Extra changes could happen as the association modifies the way individuals work and the way the association connects with others in its environment (Friedrich von den Eichen et al., 2015; Fuetsch et al., 2017; Hardie, M., 2010). Unavoidably, some innovations may have a sudden, boundless effect, while numerous others could be the aftereffect of a progression of littler changes that, together, make a critical change. With quick developing propelled advancements as of now carefully upsetting plans of action in practically every industry, development has progressively turned into a concentration region of the board (Lacity and Willcocks, 2014;Laforet, 2013). While meeting room exchanges may have once seen advancement exclusively from a hazard point of view, many sheets comprehend that their associations must expect and outfit the open doors that development and innovative interruption make to extend their piece of the overall industry and upgrade their image esteem.
Technology is constantly advancing. Therefore, companies need to be able to maximize the potentials of new technologies and tools so as to maintain their competitive advantage. Still, the world experiences expansion at a very rapid rate (Lukes, 2017). It means that market entry boundaries tend to come down while at the same time the competition levels rise. To Dundon (2002), all these issues lead to a new market type and a more demanding consumer market, that an organization is required to respond to. A global survey that was conducted during the early 2000s among 700 companies revealed that 84% of business leaders perceived innovation as promising competitiveness factor in the business world today (Dundon, 2002). In a nutshell, innovation occurs when organizations seek new ideas in products, organizational behavior, and business processes so as to attain more satisfactory values in the future. According to Greenhalgh (2010), such approaches extend their benefits beyond the customers but also to the organization and its affiliates. Therefore, innovation culture within an organization can be clearly seen to be paramount in an organizations validity.
i. The events industry and innovation culture
The events industry has experienced exponential growth both in profile and size over the past decade. With such progressive growth, the industry is potentially claiming its distinctive position from the related fields of sports, hospitality, and tourism. Jago and Deery (2010), point out that demonstrated capacity of innovation and new fields of knowledge would become increasingly essential so as to facilitate the growing number of strategic purposes of events. Similarly, the same case also applies to an environment characterized by rapid technological and social change and with regards to the current dynamics of consumer-led choices where the management is forced to recognize a growing variety of external responsibilities and internal needs (Talwar et al., 2010). Core fields in business knowledge like risk management, project management, financial and logistics management will have to be rebalanced with different areas of knowledge. It will ensure that the industry of events management is ready and capable of adapting to the global competition, potential global crises, and the rapidly varying business environment (Windahl, 2015; Woodside, Mir Bernal and Coduras, 2016; Xie et al., 2016). Practitioners in the business field need to embrace emerging innovations and knowledge domains so as to adapt to the fickle consumer demand and the fast changing business environment (Singh and Kota, 2017). Organizations involved in event organization cannot afford to embrace a status quo mentality with the perception that if they have accomplished the critical areas of their events effectively previously that consumers will continue subscribing to their events.
Lockstone-Binney and Junek (2013) state that it is necessary for educators and researchers in event studies to meet their end of the bargain which entails expanding the boundaries of this fields knowledge, collaborating with practitioners and disseminating valuable understandings to the industry in forms that are easily consumed. Furthermore, business graduates are expected to be potential contributors to, and probable future leaders of this field, possessing the optimal skill set that would enable them to adapt and work in the industry (Robinson et al., 2012; Junek et al., 2009). Such measures would in the process, change the event managements landscape as we presently know it. These sentiments are further echoed by Stahle and Gronroos (1999), who state that an organizations knowledge investment in the future is increasingly becoming an essential success determinant in business competition since the traditional production factors such as physical capital and manual labor are in constant decline.
ii. South African Business and state of innovation
According to the 2008 South African Innovation Survey (which covers the years 2005 to 2007), an overall of 65.4% of businesses participated in innovation activities (Moses et al., 2012). Conversely, only 34.6% of the businesses reported no participation in innovation activities. Successful innovations were reported by only 27.2% of the businesses. Successful innovations, in this case, represented the innovative products that were brought to the market or the processes of innovation that were implemented within the businesses. Successful innovators entailed of 8.9% product only innovators 10.3% process only innovators and 7.9% innovators that had both process and product innovations. Unsuccessful innovators that constituted of 38.2% of the businesses testified to having only abandoned or had ongoing innovation activities. Out of these businesses, only 1% claimed to have abandoned innovations, and an additional 3.5% testified to having both ongoing and abandoned activities of innovation thus leaving an overall of 33.7% of the businesses that progressed with innovation activities.
During 2007, businesses in South Africa spent approximately 1.7% of their revenue on activities to do with innovation. It is estimated that their overall expenditure on innovation activities was approximately R57 billion. Of that expenditure, 21.2% (R12.1 billion) was used up on internal Research and Development activities. An additional R6.4 billion was used up on outsourced Research and Development activities. It entailed Research and Development conducted other firms on contract or based on agreement, the outcomes of which would most probably be integrated into new innovative processes or products by the contracting company.
The innovation expenditure bulk which constituted of 59.5% of the entire total innovation expenditure got spent on the procurement of software, equipment, and machinery. An additional 7.8% of the entire total innovation spending (R4.5 billion), was used up on the attainment of additional external knowledge or information such as technical know-how or licenses. Industries that were service-based consumed more as compared to industrial businesses on outsourced or Extramural Research and Development and the procurement of additional extra external information, signifying that they may possess little internal resources for innovation as compared to the industrial businesses. Service-based businesses used up R5.3 billion on Intramural Research and Development opposed to the R6.7 billion used up by industrial businesses. Both of these figures signify substantial investments in the development of new internal knowledge for the relative businesses. These innovation expenditures were only stated for the financial year 2007. However, it was established that majority of the spending was on the current innovations activities and most innovations took more than one year to develop. Such time dimensions are vital considerations for the policymakers and they require more research emphasis.
Innovations are evidently essential for the functioning of business. During the 2008 South African Innovation Survey, respondents were also questioned about the proportion of revenue accounted for through innovations which were either new to the firm or the market. The majority of the turnover, approximately R2100 billion (85%) was ascribed to the unchanged or marginally modified products. Whereas innovations that were new to the market accounted for R209.5 billion (8.5%) and innovations that were new to the company accounted for R160.5 billion (6.5%). Moses et al., (2012), states that even though the returns on innovation are valuable, it is still necessary to keep in mind the varying time periods for innovation turnover and expenditure.
Moses et al. (2012), further states that innovations are not only essential for the profitability and viability of innovations but also have beneficial outcomes or influence for innovative companies. The most vital innovation outcome for businesses in South Africa was an increase in the variety of services and products brought to the market. Moses et al., (2012) documents that 31.2% of the businesses recorded such results a product of innovation activities. The subsequent most significant outcomes of innovations were the enhanced quality of services and products which were reported by 30.7% of the businesses. The third most significant impacts were an increase in the production capacity or provision services, where 25.6% of the busine...
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