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Managing Innovation in Business: British Airways

Module Title:Managing Innovation in BusinessModule Code:BM627
Assignment No/Title:CW2: Individual Report: A full report comprising an action plan roadmap for the development and implementation of the innovation capabilities of the chosen organisation.Assessment Weighting:60%

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  1. This assignment must be submitted electronically using Blackboard by 2pm on the submission date
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Assignment format and other relevant instructions to students: Specify whether it is a group or individual assignment, the word length and any abnormal submission instructions.
For this second assignment, you are required to produce a 3000 word written report. From your findings in CW1 you are to develop an innovation road map that outlines the preparation of the innovation process. This audit will factor in the wider, operational environment of both up and downstream suppliers and service providers, whilst developing a fuller picture of the organisation’s full innovation capacity.

This assignment tests the following Learning Outcomes for the module:Delete any that do not apply and ensure that alternative instructions are entered in the box above.

Apply an evaluative approach to a range of business data, sources of information and appropriate methodologies in identifying drivers of innovation within a business and its environments; 
Analyse and illustrate how organisations and their leaders can successfully plan and prepare for innovation;
Critically discuss the importance of organisational knowledge, knowledge transfer and cross functional co-operation in order to analyse and assess innovation capability and blockages;
Actively engage in the identification of a new product/service for a chosen organisation and identify the key activities required for its successful development;
Conduct an innovation/organisational development audit appropriate for the introduction of the new product/service.

The Assignment Task:




This assignment leads on logically from the findings of CW1 and students are expected to use the same organisation as CW1

From your findings in CW1 you are to develop an innovation road map that outlines the preparation of the innovation process. This will factor in the wider, operational environment of both up and downstream suppliers and service providers, whilst developing a fuller picture of the organisation’s full innovation capacity.

Note:  Words used in applied models, tables; charts etc… within the main body of the report are NOT included in the reports word.   Content placed in the appendices MUST have a clear connection to the main body.  Any work copied and paste into the report and/or the appendices that is not discussed, analysed or mentioned will not be considered by the marker. 
Suggested Report Structure.

Front Cover page
Executive Summary (NOT included in word count 400 words max)
Contents
Introduction, Purpose of the Report & Structure (200 words) 
The Future of the Industry 2020 and Beyond (500 words)
The Organisations Innovation Requirements 2020 and Beyond (500 words)
Building the Future Innovation Capabilities for the Organisation (1,500 words)
Conclusion (300 words)
References – Harvard Format


Answer

Managing Innovation in Business (British Airways - Services)


Executive Summary

The current report is about innovation in British Airways. As British Airways is a aviation sector firm, the report tries to understand the innovation requirements in this industry within 2020 and beyond this period. Further, the report has also tried to focus on the innovation requirements of British Airways in the aviation industry of UK in the upcoming years and beyond 2020 to gain competitive advantage in the market. It is identified that the company needs to innovate strategically to be ahead of other competitors in the market. 

Introduction 

In the world of business there is very little margin for error, for the competition is as sharp as razor blades. With the increase of population and globalization more than one competitor have entered the niche of specific businesses. It is found that the introduction and proper use of new and innovative ideas have always been able to provide the extra traction in the market to specific organizations, thereby making innovation an essential part of every business. In the aviation business the competition has leaped many notches upwards in terms of competition in recent decades. The use of innovation is also among the much appreciated topics of importance. However, there are very little researches done on the particular ways in which innovation influence aviation business. The current assignment tries to provide a thorough and authentic discussion on the management of innovation in the aviation business with a special reference to the British Airways, UK. The chosen organization is the biggest and most well known aviation organization on the international levels and most of the new and rival organizations do follow the footsteps of British Airways, therefore, the assignment will be a rich source of learning for other organizations in the aviation business.     

The Future of the Industry in 2020 Onwards 

The chosen organization for the current assignment is British Airways. The organization works within the boundaries of aviation business and has been able to make a distinct identity for itself. As per the suggestions of Mowery et al. (2015) the aviation business is very profitable and is a way to a better career for ambitious persons. In contrary to this idea Martins et al. (2015) vent that aviation business carries comparatively higher range of risk and competition to that of other businesses. As the setting up of aviation organizations need heavy amount of capital and technical investments it is deemed necessary that these organizations survive in the market in a long term process. With the ever rising level of competition, more offers of convenience are offered to the passengers, thereby generating an upward climb of expectations among the customers. A thorough study of the past annual reports shows that the business environment for the aviation industry has not been very stable and was unpredictable most of the time. With the advent of time priorities have changed and this changes of trends and priorities help in the assumption of the near future, especially after 2020 and onwards. 

According to Gassmann et al. (2010) the future prospects for the aviation business depends upon various factors and the operations of current trends of the political and economic policies. Taking British Airways in specific, it can be observed that the organization in the biggest in the world as well as in UK. Having a home market where the buying capacity of the passengers is very high, has helped the organization to focus more on its quality of provided service rather than budget or value for money management. The sheer popularity and the lack of competition have strengthened the foundation of the organization in the past and have created a legacy for itself.  On the downside it is also seen that with the rising rate of rivals in the market, entry of better substitutes, changes in the legal systems and regulations and last but not the least the preservative standards set for reducing pollution are the factors that has slowed down the growth of the organization. 

Depending on the positive and negative aspects of the organizations current condition and the changes taking place in the market, it can be said that in near future there is a high possibility of rapid change in the company policies. Besides the changing trends there are other factors that can direct the course of action for the organization. For instance, Osiyevskyy and Dewald (2015) say that the occurrence of the accidents, political issues among continents and their policies, the lifestyle of the customers and the pressure of the population management can affect the organizations future goals. It is very obvious that innovation will play a vital role in the future for the British Airways and the aviation industry in general. However, the introduction of the innovative ideas of other organizations will also help the competitive rivals in the market and collectively the industry will be benefited. The current trends in the industry indicate that in future more focus will be given to value for money propositions and customer safety than traditional service and leisure.     

The Organizations Innovation Requirements 2020 and Beyond

Strategy: 

There are clear indications available in the aviation industry that in the near future the organizations will be in need of some serious innovative techniques to sustain in the market. According to Rigby and Bilodeau (2015) more organizations will enter the aviation market and it will generate more congestion and competition in the market. Aiming at the interest of the passengers all the organizations will offer innovative techniques and the result will be there will a rapid change in the market. The competitive rivals will tune and modify the innovations of others to make the best use of it. Therefore, it will be necessary for aviation companies to develop not only innovative ideas but also a proper and well tuned system of management for implementation. The existing organizations have to let go of their ego and at times have to learn from the younger or rather new entrants of the markets. Carayannis et al. (2015) is of the opinion that with the changing scenarios effective ideas get outdated, therefore, it is necessary to adapt new ways of operating business. As the world economy is getting slow on its growth rates, it can be assumed that in 2020 the buying capacity of customers will decrease a lot. Therefore, as Goss (2015) suggests organizations have to implement innovative ideas with the primary aim of cost cutting without hampering the quality and range of necessary services for the customers.  

As the supply of innovation is necessary for the organizations, they have to associate themselves with new stakeholders and have to correlate themselves with the functioning of other subsidiary organizations. For example including a food supply organization with an exclusive airlines travel package would improve the reputation of the airlines as well as the popularity and income of that particular food supplying organization. There are chances that big organizations like British Airways face huge lose in sustaining its huge work force. In relation to this point Ngo and O'Cass (2013) is of the opinion that cutting down the size of the staff or expanding to new markets would solve the problem of loss registration on the balance sheet. 

Resources: 

In particular if British Airways has to preserve its spot among the leading airlines in the world it has to learn to identify the values gaining popularity in the industry. Like any other reputed industry it can use its brand recognition and legacy of decades for getting attention of the customers. It is also true that with time experience develops. According to Gambardella and McGahan (2010), the British Airways can learn from its past records and can use the learning for adapting the future market scenarios. It can be expected that till 2020 many new scientific innovations will come in the market and all the organizations will make the utmost use of it. In order to get extra advantage British Airways must blend its own knowledge to it for making a distinctive yet popular technique of operation for its conveniences. 


Building Future Innovation Capabilities for British Airways, UK 

Interaction with Stakeholders

A comprehensive idea about the operational system of British Airways aviation business makes it clear one of the biggest challenges of managing innovating is the securing of future sources of innovation. McElheran (2015) and Sundbo (2015) are of the similar opinion that by building a strong and consistent source of innovative training and grooming would secure the supply of innovation for the future. In case of the chosen organization, it is seen that stakeholders are introduced with the ideas of innovation and the prospect of larger profit margins. In most of the cases organizations include their stakeholders more into their integral part of the business. In guise of involvement they tend to sign contracts with reputed universities, HRM firms, customers and capital investors for innovative research purposes and developments. According to Souto (2015), aviation organizations show much interest to consultant firms for securing the supply of innovative ideas of young aspirants. In recent times it is also seen that aviation organizations are more getting more inclined towards the development of trade unions. The main reason behind the formation of trade unions, as suggested by Herrman and Herrmann-Nehdi (2015), is to deflect the economic fluctuation in the business. 

As the stakeholders get involved with the mainframe of the aviation organizations they make the full use of their specific organizations to generate the highest amount of leverage for the aviation organization and help in securing the highest possible level of profit. The organizations collectively work as a group and the candidates are motivated and given chance of better career, as a result of which the motive to innovate continues. In particular, in the current assignment British Airways is seen to have coordinating with domestic as well as international aviation academies like Oxford Aviation Academy, CATS, Alpha Aviation Academy and Emirates Flight Training Academy for benefiting itself and the academies with a symbiotic business strategy. Being in the aviation business for decades, the chosen organization has been able to secure constant supply of innovative ideas and in return offer job placement for candidates of the aviation academies. It is also seen that in many cases the preference of the customers are incorporated as innovative techniques and by doing so, the British Airways has transformed its customers to a sort of stakeholders. (Uae.aag.aero, 2017)      

Transmission of Knowledge and its Management

The term, ‘innovation’, as defined by Hovhannisyan and Keller (2015), is not the introduction of an exclusive, new revolutionary idea, rather it is the system of managing a work in a more efficient and non - conventional way. A close inspection shows that most if the innovative ideas and innovations are modified and well balanced system of existing techniques. As per Chesbrough (2010), in order to maintain a steady flow of innovative ideas from time to time, organizations have found transmission of knowledge as an essential condition for the development of innovation. It is worth the mention that the transfer of knowledge must be coupled with proper management so that the information and data are kept intact. The coordination of the transmission and management involves logical selection process, data storing techniques and last but not the least effective and consistent network chain. 

As per the opinion of Saebi and Foss (2015), in the airlines business the records of the transportation business documents, balance sheet, share market graphs, accidental reasons are kept under strict and constant observation and are updated on regular intervals. The records are used for the preparation of the annual audit reports. As the business progresses on to a new financial year the audit reports are evaluated and balanced on the terms of the changes taking place in the domestic as well as world economy. In the aviation academy the transformation of the knowledge is very important as it provided stability of experience to the organizations that have to face rapid and consistent fluctuations in the business of high fares, high expectation and tough competition. From the stored data and processed information, knowledge is derived and is sent to all the outlets of organizations. 

As in the case of British Airways aviation business the knowledge of receiving passengers and on air treatment prove to be beneficial as it helped the new recruits of the organization in the specific way. However, the knowledge is further enhanced in its quality with new inclusions and modifications. The implementation of the new techniques and the knowledge of the past develop a perfect blend of modern yet distinctive style for the services offered by British Airways. The chosen organization collects data on the basis of their relevance and based on that level of relevance they point out sectors for collecting data which in time becomes the source of knowledge. In contrast to the idea of selective relevance Kung and Schmid (2015) say that every detail carries its own importance and should not be overlooked because at times it helps in solving the gravest issues.        

Changing Management Issues and Implication of Strategies

In order to build a better future for it, the British Airways have taken a very logical approach to the management of the managerial issues and implication of strategies. As per the suggestions of Rosemann and vom Brocke (2015) the economic market and competition in the trends will change significantly after a regular period of time. These changes will be brought into the niche of aviation business in the form of rival companies’ innovations and developing mindset of the service users in UK as well as all over the globe. In the past the main managerial issues used to be centered on the management of seats of the passengers, safety and level of availability. In order to manage the issues strategies were implemented. As the main concerns were related to the seat arrangement and safety, the development of strategies and the implication of the innovation were restricted to that specific radius of concern. In modern times it is seen that due to the sheer number of competitors in the market and the implication of more effective and innovative ideas have escalated the level of expectation of the customers and therefore, they have become harder to please. The development of a neat and clean ground staff, security and high level of traditional treatment has been a deciding factor for most of the aviation organizations in the past. The British Airways has also adapted similar strategies for the management of its reputation.

With an objective of strengthening the future of the organization and maintaining the supply of innovation, the British Airways has taken ample measures to focus on changing managerial issues which have aroused with the change in the market and progression of time. As all the organizations are offering similar pricing and facilities to its customers, the main issues are arising on the basis of quality of the service provided and the level of uniqueness. In agreement with Love and Roper (2015), it can be said that innovation in the management of the passengers is no longer required as the standards have been set very high and innovation in that genre in unnecessary at the moment. Therefore, strategies that creates space for innovation is mostly considering the technique of coordination among the varied segments of the organization.      

Organization and its Culture, Environment and Leadership Techniques

It is a clear fact that, if the British Airways wants to stay on the top of the aviation business it has to build a secured future for itself which will provide fresh and continuous supply of profitable innovation. In an attempt to achieve a secured future with bright prospects, the chosen organization has developed a beneficial organizational culture for itself. It is found that British Airways has adapted a blend of flat and tall organizational structure, which in turn has helped in the coordination among staffs at the time of circulating orders from the higher authorities. Drawing form the benefits of the flat structure the workers are given responsibilities, which makes them more liable to the organization. The maintenance of the regulation circulated by managers to the staffs is managed by the structural aspects of the tall organizational structure. In this way, the employees get the chance of proving themselves. Being an experienced organization, British Airways has developed its own reputation and it’s further enhanced by standard uniforms, facilities for the staff and recognition in the world. It has helped in the development of a very beneficial working culture and environment for the organization. 

As seen that case of British Airways, the focus on the development of working environment and culture has been consistent, thereby securing a sustainable future prospect for them. Baden-Fuller and Haefliger (2013) say that British Airways has been very tentative at the time of selecting and implementing leadership techniques over its staffs for efficient performance. A closer observation shows that British Airways has been very flexible at the time of choosing leadership styles. As it dozens of centers around the world, it has selected different methods for different centers. For instance, it I seen that in UK it has adapted democratic leadership style for its functioning. On the other hand it is seen that in further parts of Asia the staffs follow strategic leadership as the working economic conditions tend to be more hostile than that of UK.  

Conclusion 

As we draw close to a conclusion it can be said that the aviation business is very challenging as change is a constant part of it. It becomes comprehensible that innovation always has been a deciding factor for the organizations competing in the same segment of the business. Innovation gave organizations that extra mileage that helped them to speed ahead of others. As seen in the case of British Airways, the innovations taking part in the operational system of the organization has helped in the development of a more efficient and distinct range of services. Many organizations have set a rough graph for its future and have taken ample initiative to achieve the aimed goals. As a leading aviation organization British Airways has realized that the need of innovation is not temporary, rather is an important and mandatory part of organizational success and competitive advantage. Initiatives are taken to develop sources of consistent innovative minds and in order to achieve this goal managerial techniques are updated, records, which are treated as the source of knowledge for the business, is transferred in effective manners and managed in exclusive ways. For the improvement of the overall efficacy of the organization the British Airways, like its competitors has involved the stakeholder to a much deeper level. It also came into the view that there have been issues faced by the chosen organization like the changing scenario of the market. The implication of innovation has also changed as the demands of the passengers and their priorities have changed as well. 

Taking into consideration all the aspects of innovation and its management in the aviation business, with a special reference to the British Airways it can be said that the organization has signs of a very bright future that is full of positivity. If the organization can manage the shortcomings of its integral parts and implement the innovative ideas for its future it will be able to survive in the market and be able to take its performance one notch above the competition.  

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