A Comparative study of Innovation Practices in Business- IELTS Reading Answers | IELTSMaterial.com

Reading Passage

A Comparative study of Innovation Practices in Business

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Questions 1- 7

Look at the following theories (Questions 1– 7) and the list of experts below.

Match the theories with the correct expert A-E. You may use any letter more than once.

1 A business cannot rely on the success of one good innovation.

2 A group approach is an effective way of generating innovation,

3 Employees are more creative in a culture that accepts failure.

4 Radical innovations will provide greater income than minor changes.

5 Businesses with a structured approach to innovation are more likely to succeed.

6 Innovation consists of a new idea combined with business potential.

7 A business that concentrates on responding to clients’ needs may overlook the need for wider development.

List of experts

  1. Afuah
  2. Kim and Mauborgne
  3. Utterback
  4. Hargardorn and Sutton
  5. Kahn and Hirshhorn

Questions 8- 14

Complete each sentence with the correct ending A – I below.

8 Unfortunately the development of an organized innovation process ………..

9 One of the most difficult issues in innovation ………………

10 A company wanting to maintain a leading position in business………….

11 A different approach to achieving innovation ………………

12 Getting staff to come up with new Ideas……………………..

13 A recommendation for companies already committed to innovation……………

14 The problem experienced by companies participating in the study…………………

  1. can be to develop a sympathetic manufacturing environment.
  2. must put time and money into innovation.
  3. can be a very cost-effective way of achieving innovation.
  4. may require a more sophisticated communication system.
  5. may give rise to a lengthy period between the initial concept and launch
  6. could be attributed to an unwillingness to accept the risk
  7. can be to work out the saleability of a future product
  8. would be to put more money into the analysis of customer demand.
  9. might involve collaboration with another company with particular expertise

Reading Answer

1 Answer: C

Question type: Matching Features

Answer location: Paragraph 4

Answer explanation: Paragraph 4 reveals that Innovation may offer one significant way that companies can gain an advantage. Utterback’s (1994) concept of ‘dominant design’ provides insight into how innovation can create a temporary monopoly situation that will weaken competitive forces, however, when an innovative product or service is launched, rivals typically begin to copy it (once patents run out). Hence it is necessary for the company to continuously seek further ways to innovate. We can deduce from these lines that a business cannot rely on the success of one good innovation. Thus, the answer is C.

2 Answer: D

Question type: Matching Features

Answer location: Paragraph 9, last line

Answer explanation: The last line of the 9th paragraph states that according to Hargadon and Sutton, using teams to capture and share ideas is one method of keeping ideas alive – a key step in the innovation process. Good ideas need to be nurtured by teams and incorporated into the information and communication system of the company. We can deduce from these lines that a group approach is an effective way to generate ideas and innovation as suggested by Hargadorn and Sutton. Thus, the answer is D.

3 Answer: E

Question type: Matching Features

Answer location: Paragraph 11, line 4

Answer explanation: In the 4th line of paragraph 11, it is stated that according to psychologists Kahn and Hirshhorn, people come alive when they feel safe. It is a threat and anxiety that inhibits them. It would follow that in order for people in organizations to take risks, a lack of success must be tolerated. The organizations that manage risk most effectively transform those risks into challenges and opportunities. These lines illustrate that employees are highly creative in a culture that accepts risk and failure. Hence, the suitable answer is E.

4 Answer: B

Question type: Matching Features

Answer location: Paragraph 3, line 3

Answer explanation: The 3rd line of the 3rd paragraph suggests that the relationship of innovation to financial performance was well demonstrated by Kim and Mauborgne (l997). In manufacturing environments, they found that while 86% of product launches involved some small improvements to existing models – that is incremental changes, they accounted for only 62% of total revenues and 39% of total profits, The remaining 14% of launches, the real breakthrough innovations – generated 38% of total revenues and a huge 61 % of total profits. It is clear from these lines that radical innovations will provide a greater income than minor changes. Hence, the answer is B.

5 Answer: D

Question type: Matching Features

Answer location: Paragraph 5

Answer explanation: The introductory lines of the 5th paragraph state that every innovation process has Its strengths and weaknesses, but it seems that when a company sets up a systematized innovation process it communicates the importance of innovation to the entire organization. In these companies, more resources are devoted to development. The best companies have learned to systematize the process (Hargadorn & Sutton 2000). We can understand from paragraph 5 that businesses with a structured perspective on innovation are more likely to succeed. Hence, the answer is D

6 Answer: A

Question type: Matching Features

Answer location: Paragraph 3

Answer explanation: The initial lines of paragraph A suggest that participants interested in breakthrough innovation believe ‘if innovation doesn’t deliver bottom-line results, it is just creativity’. Indeed, the very definition of innovation for Afuah (2003) is ‘invention plus commercialization. We can understand from these lines that Afuah says that innovation consists of a new idea combined with business potential. Hence, the answer is A.

7 Answer: C

Question type: Matching Features

Answer location: Paragraph 6,line 5

Answer explanation: The 5th line of the 6th paragraph states that a potential disadvantage of this approach, according to Utterback, is that evolutionary change can be missed when companies are too focussed on pleasing customers. The most challenging aspect of any innovation is determining marketability. No company said It lacked creative ideas for creative people, but many ideas require significant resources to test, develop, and launch. These lines indicate that a business that concentrates on responding to clients’ needs may overlook the need for wider development. Thus, the answer is C.

8 Answer: E

Question type: Matching Sentence Ending

Answer location: Paragraph 7

Answer explanation: Paragraph 7 states that the most challenging aspect of any innovation is determining marketability. No company said It lacked creative ideas for creative people, but many ideas require significant resources to test, develop, and launch. These lines indicate that unfortunately, the development of an organized innovation process May give rise to a lengthy period between the initial concept and launch. Thus, the answer is E.

9 Answer: G

Question type: Matching Sentence Ending

Answer location: Paragraph 7

Answer explanation: Paragraph 7 illustrates the fact that the most challenging aspect of any innovation is determining marketability. No company said It lacked creative ideas for creative people, but many ideas require significant resources to test, develop, and launch. Millions of dollars are at stake, so an element of risk-taking is required. These lines indicate that one of the most challenging issues in innovation can be working out the saleability of a future product. Hence, the answer is G.

10 Answer: B

Question type: Matching Sentence Ending

Answer location: Paragraph 7, line 5

Answer explanation: The 5th line of the 7th Paragraph states that Publicly traded companies have a major dilemma. To guarantee a leadership position they have to stay on the leading edge of innovation. This requires a long-term approach and a high tolerance for risk. Investors, especially in a down economy, want short-term results. As investors’ tolerance for risk decreases, so does the company’s ability to lack the significant financial risk necessary to create breakthrough changes; however, most recognize that investing in innovation is the ‘right thing to do’. These lines indicate that a company wanting to maintain a leading position in Business must invest a lot of time and money into Innovation. Thus, the answer is B.

11 Answer: I

Question type: Matching Sentence Ending

Answer location: Paragraph 3, line 5

Answer explanation: The 5th line of the 3rd Paragraph states that In manufacturing environments, they found that while 86% of product launches involved some small improvements to existing models – that is incremental changes, they accounted for only 62% of total revenues and 39% of total profits, The remaining 14% of launches, the real breakthrough innovations – generated 38% of total revenues and a huge 61 % of total profits. These lines suggest that a different approach to achieving innovation can be to develop a sympathetic manufacturing environment. Hence, the answer is I.

12 Answer: C

Question type: Matching Sentence Ending

Answer location: Paragraph 7

Answer explanation: Paragraph 7 states that taking risks is generally defined as being able to drive new ideas forward in the face of adversity. Publicly traded companies have a major dilemma. To guarantee a leadership position they have to stay on the leading edge of innovation. This requires a long-term approach and a high tolerance for risk. These lines indicate that getting staff to come up with new ideas can be a very cost-effective way of achieving innovation. Thus, the answer is C.

13 Answer: H

Question type: Matching Sentence Ending

Answer location: Paragraph 6, line 3

Answer explanation: The 3rd line of paragraph 6 states that employees were empowered to solve problems and create new products for the customer by responding to demand. While this benefits customers, the company stated it lacked systems to share learning with other segments of the organization. It is evident from these lines that a recommendation for companies already committed to innovation would be to put more money into the analysis of customer demand. Thus, the answer is H.

14 Answer: F

Question type: Matching Sentence Ending

Answer location: Paragraph 12

Answer explanation: Paragraph 12 states that most of the problems cited by participants were due to a low tolerance for risk – by employees (what they would or would not say), and by committees, (being afraid to invest money without knowing the return on investment). These lines indicate that the problem experienced by companies participating in the study could be attributed to an unwillingness to accept the risk. Hence, the answer is F.