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Navigating the Waves of Technological Change: A Guide to Innovation Management

Get an overview on the various facets of technology management with expert insight by Prof. Karl-Heinz Leitner.

Technology Management

In an era marked by rapid technological advancements, understanding the dynamics of technological change is crucial for businesses, policymakers, and innovators alike. A recent expert talk at the TU Wien Academy for Continuing Education held by Karl-Heinz Leitner, specializing in innovation management, offers valuable insights into this complex landscape, shedding light on the models of technological change, types of innovation, and strategic implications for companies and policymakers.

Understanding Technological Change

Technological change is not just about the advent of new technologies but also about the profound impact these technologies have on industries, economies, and societies. Using various models that explain the forces and mechanisms driving technological innovation is essential for understanding how to maintain competitiveness in a fast-evolving technological environment, eg:

  • the disruptive innovation model, which challenges existing competencies
  • the evolutionary model, which draws inspiration from biological models
  • the S-curve model
  • multi-S-curve model

The Spectrum of Innovations

Innovation takes many forms, from product and service innovations to process, marketing, and organizational innovations. The key to successful innovation lies not only in developing new technologies but also in effectively commercializing them. This requires a strategic approach to innovation management, ensuring that new technologies meet market needs and are adopted widely.

Strategic Choices in Innovation

Companies face significant challenges in navigating technological change. Strategic decisions about which types of innovation to pursue can determine a company's future success. Prof. Leitner emphasizes the importance of choosing between incremental and radical innovations, each with its own risks and rewards. He also explores the strategic implications of these choices for company competitiveness and industry evolution.

Case Study: Industrial Decarbonization

A case study on industrial decarbonization illustrates the practical application of technological change models and innovation management strategies. The project showcases how various technologies and innovations such as hydrogen production and steel manufacturing can contribute to sustainability goals, highlighting the role of innovation in addressing global challenges such as climate change.

Roadmapping: A Strategic Tool for Innovation

Prof. Leitner concludes with a discussion on roadmapping as a strategic tool for managing technological uncertainty. Road mapping helps companies navigate the innovation process, from ideation to market implementation. It provides a framework for aligning technological development with business objectives, facilitating strategic planning and decision-making.


By understanding the dynamics of technological advancements and the types of innovations available, companies and policymakers can better navigate the challenges and opportunities of the digital age. This guide to innovation management is a valuable resource for anyone looking to thrive in an increasingly technology-driven world.

Want to know more?

You can watch the full video online, opens an external URL in a new window and learn more about our Executive MBA Digital Transformation and Change Management here!

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About our Expert:

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Leitner is Professor of Innovation Management at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Applied Business Administration at the University of Graz. He is also a senior scientist at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology and head of the "Organizing Innovation and Emerging Technologies - Knowledge and Talent Development Programme", which is organized by AIT and TU Wien. He is a lecturer at TU Wien for lectures in innovation management and business start-ups.