There are a number of approaches that can be taken to cover the learning outcomes in this unit.
It is possible to assess all the learning outcomes in this unit within one assignment. Alternatively, different assignments can be used to cover individual learning outcomes, although care must be taken to ensure learners understand that innovation is a process and is therefore likely to draw on aspects from more than one learning outcome. It is therefore suggested that, if the learning outcomes are not assessed within one assignment, then an individual assignment should cover more than one learning outcome
Learners must be given the opportunity to link theory to practice, for example by examining the relevance of Drucker’s innovation model in an organisational context, and show the application of techniques used in the innovation process, for example SWOT and PESTLE analysis.
Assignments can be based on tutor-devised case study scenarios, research studies involving specific organisations or a learner’s own organisation. If case study scenarios are used care must be taken to ensure that learners have the opportunity to provide appropriate and sufficient evidence to meet all the assessment criteria. In the case of research studies, these can either be based on an organisation chosen by the tutor or self-selected by the learner.
If either case studies or research studies are used, learners must be given the opportunity to analyse how creative and innovative management impacts on the prevailing organisational culture and how this culture promotes creativity within the workforce. Not all innovations are successful and case studies and research studies can be based on a comparative analysis of both successful and unsuccessful innovations with learners required to identify the critical factors that impacted on the final outcome.
In those instances where the learner is required to consider their own organisation, there are two possible approaches that can be taken. Firstly, the learner could investigate how a specific innovation was introduced into the organisation and analyse the way in which the innovation was supported, the challenges that needed to be addressed to implement the innovation and an evaluation of the impact of the innovation on organisational performance. The second approach is based on an ‘active research’ approach involving the identification and diagnosis of a problem or a weakness in an organisational process and then proposing creative solutions to address the problem or weakness. The advantage of this approach is that learners would need to assess their own creative and entrepreneurial skills and to work with managers and team leaders to successfully implement the innovation process.
Whichever approach is taken, learners must be aware that innovation is not solely concerned with new product development or the utilisation of technology. Creativity and innovation can also be applied to organisational processes with the aim to promote efficiencies and reduce costs. Hence, in this unit, organisational functions such as procurement, recruitment, communication systems and organisational structure can all form the basis of an assignment programme.
Learner presentations could be used to present a strategy for promoting innovation in an organisation highlighting the strategic objectives, the main issues to be addressed, recommendations, the lessons learned and the implications for strategic leaders and managers drawn from a detailed risk analysis.