Because a doubling of frequency corresponds to an octave increase of pitch, it follows that there is no constant increment of frequency that always corresponds to a one-octave increment of pitch. That is to say, there is no fixed amount by which a frequency can be augmented that will always produce a one-octave pitch rise.

For instance, starting at the pitch A4 with a frequency of 440 Hz, we need to augment the frequency by 440 Hz to get the pitch one octave above (880 Hz). B
Author(s): The Open University

Another important property of a sine wave we need to be able to specify is its amplitude. In essence, the amplitude of a sine wave is its size. Unfortunately there are various ways of defining what is meant by the size of a sine wave, and you are likely to come across many of them in material you look at outside this unit. Before I explain what our definition is, it will help matters if we look at what is meant by the average value of a sine wave.

Figure 16 shows a sinusoidally a
Author(s): The Open University

In this section we shall be looking at the behaviour and properties of pressure waves in the atmosphere.

Sound originates from the motion or vibration of an object. Let's look at an example of a sound wave generated by a vibrating tuning fork. The prongs of the tuning fork move backwards and forwards cyclically. A cycle is a complete series of movements up to the point where the movement starts to repeat itself. As the prongs of the fork vibrate back and forth they push on neighbouring
Author(s): The Open University

Welcome to T306_2 Managing complexity: a systems approach – introduction. As I write, I experience a sense of excitement. For me, as for you, this is the beginning of the unit. These are the first few sentences I'm writing and so, although I have a good idea of how the unit is going to turn out, the details are by no means clear. Nevertheless, the excitement and anticipation I, and maybe you, are experiencing now is an important ingredient in what will become our experiences of the u
Author(s): The Open University

This course aims to develop skills of thinking systematically and creatively about issues of complexity. It enables you to appreciate and manage these issues in ways that can lead to improvement. It adopts the most recent and innovative advances in systems thinking and applies them to topical areas of concern. It is designed to help build your capacity to manage complexity and to develop a deep understanding of contemporary systems thinking. It may be helpful to study OpenLearn units T551_1 <
Author(s): The Open University

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material within this unit:

## Figures

Figures 1 and 64 © DIY Picture Library.

Figure 2 Courtesy of Dyson (UK) Ltd.

Figures 4 and 70 ©John Frost Historical Newspapers.

Figures 4, 5(l), 18, 35, 45, 75 Richard Hearne/ Open University.
Author(s): The Open University

## SAQ 8

To wrap up this section I'll take a broad look at the innovation process. It's possible to think of innovation at different levels of generalisation. There are individual stages that innovations go through from invention to diffusion – these are sometimes called phases. At a higher level of generalisation each complete set of phases for a group of related technologies can be seen as a wave. Sometimes such waves appear close together and combine to have a revolutionary impact.<
Author(s): The Open University

Once an innovation starts diffusing into the marketplace it can have differing degrees of impact. As mentioned in Part 1, although innovations generally offer progress, there are some that complement existing ways of doing things and some that are more dramatic in their impact. In his book called The Innovator's Dilemma Clayton M. Christensen (2003) labels these two types of innovation sustaining and disruptive.

Sustaining innovations are those that improve the performance of est
Author(s): The Open University

As well as being small and portable, MP3 devices have a number of additional competitive advantages. Digital compression allows the size of recordings to be significantly smaller without noticeable loss of sound quality so the capacity of portable devices can be much greater. Compatibility with computer systems means that music can be acquired from the internet or from a CD and easily manipulated into a sequence desired by the user.

Although MP3 players had been around for a number of y
Author(s): The Open University

As well as the characteristics of an innovation affecting the extent of its take-up, the nature of the market and the purchasing behaviour of consumers can influence success. Some people will always try to be among the first to buy a new product – Rogers (2003) calls people in this group innovators (Author(s): The Open University

It helps to be able to try innovations before buying. While this isn't common for most innovations it can reduce any uncertainty the buyer might have about committing to a purchase and can increase the speed of diffusion. Buying a car usually involves a test drive that, although it probably isn't a fair reflection of the range of conditions under which the product will eventually be used, is better than nothing.

Author(s): The Open University

If an innovation is perceived as difficult to use it will diffuse more slowly than one that is easy to understand. For example users of early personal computers needed an understanding of a programming language in order to use their machines. For most potential PC users this made the innovation too complex to consider buying. Then a graphical user interface was developed and incorporated by Apple Computer into the Lisa computer in 1983 (Author(s): The Open University

An innovation that is compatible with the experiences, values and needs of its potential buyers will be adopted more rapidly than one that isn't compatible. For example mobile phones have spread rapidly because they are compatible with social and cultural trends towards faster communications, increased personal mobility and the desirability of high-tech gadgets. However the car seat belt, patented in 1903, wasn't adopted on any significant scale until the 1970s (Author(s): The Open University

Standards were originally related to units of measurement. The first ‘standard’ was the Egyptian royal cubit, which was made of black granite and was said to be equivalent to the length of the Pharoah's forearm and hand. This was also subdivided into finger, palm and hand widths – one ‘small cubit’ was equivalent to six palms. But because the human forearm was the master reference this meant that the cubit varied in different parts of the world. Over thousands of years agreement ove
Author(s): The Open University

## SAQ 4

What are the four main factors that motivate individuals to invent?

Individuals are motivated to invent by one or more factors:

Author(s): The Open University

In their classic book The Sources of Invention (1969) John Jewkes, David Sawers and Richard Stillerman observe the following about inventors, whether working outside or inside an organisation.

• Inventors tend to be absorbed with their own ideas and to feel strongly about their importance and potential.

• Inventors can be impatient with those who don't share their optimism.

• Inventors are often isolated because they are
Author(s): The Open University

Transfer is where a technology, manufacturing process or material is transferred to another field to provide the basis for an invention. Earlier we saw how laser technology, originally thought to have few practical uses, was transferred to a variety of different applications including surgery, welding and cutting metal, bar-code readers, and audio CDs.

Author(s): The Open University

Some companies have a defensive strategy and aim to follow the leader. Such companies hope to profit from the mistakes of the first-to-market company by devising incremental design and performance improvements and cost reductions compared with the original product. In addition they hope to exploit the new market that has started to grow, so timing is important. In the area of consumer electronics, for example, most of the inventions (radio, television, audio and video tape recording) w
Author(s): The Open University

Much invention and nearly all innovation nowadays take place inside organisations – from small start-up companies to well-established multinationals. This is mainly because increasingly invention and innovation require access to technology and resources beyond the scope of most individuals. But it is also because competitiveness and survival depend on the continual improvement of a company's products and processes. This provides a strong incentive for companies to invest in both the increme
Author(s): The Open University