The Difference between Invention and Innovation

Invention and innovation are subtle concepts that are often used interchangeably across multiple disciplines. However, the distinction of these two terminologies is important in organizational management and leadership. Ideally, invention is the precursor for innovation . The objective of this research paper is to assess how invention and innovation enhances competitive advantage to an organization. Moreover, the study delves on the various strategies employed by managers in various industries in order to achieve success.

The process of invention largely relies on original ideas for developing new products that are non-existent in the consumer market. These ideas are derived from theoretical frameworks that require critical, and analytical scientific skills. Since inventors’ works from a hypothetical framework, it means that this process requires extensive research before completing the product development. For example, the medical and pharmaceutical industry has a scientific based model for developing a new drug. The model for drug developments are referred to as clinical trials and occurs in four stages. A clinical drug trial is aimed at ensuring that a drug is safe before it can be delivered in the market. Upon the successful completion of these studies, the developer patents the product and is rewarded with a ten year market monopoly. Medical research is costly and therefore manufacturers require longer periods for the product to break even. In some cases involving chronic and communicable conditions affecting large populations, investors might allow other competitors access to their patent. The new entrants in the market are innovators since they usually use the available drug formula to develop newer, improved, and cheaper products. These drugs which are referred to as generics are derived from the brand product and manufactured in bulk. The cost of production for the invention process is relatively higher than that for innovation due to the high budget for R&D. Innovators applies strategic technical, and marketing skills to position a product to the target market segment.