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11.1 Part 3: 1 Introduction

I wonder if you experience complexity in your daily life? Perhaps you experienced the child-support case study as being complex, as I did? For much of the time I struggle to keep my head above water as I try to understand and manage the complexity I experience as part of everyday life. I find social commentator and cartoonist Michael Leunig's depiction of a solitary figure looking through an ‘understandascope’ (Author(s): The Open University

18.3 Characteristics of consumers and the market

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

18.2.6 Encouraging diffusion

In general, innovations that are perceived as having relative advantages, being more compatible, less complex, observable, and trialable will diffuse more rapidly than other innovations.


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11.5.2 Transfer

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.


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11.1 Five steps to invention

I've looked at what motivates people and organisations to invent. I'll look more closely now at what's actually involved in inventing something.

Wherever invention occurs, whether with a lone inventor or in a creative team within an organisation, there seem to be common factors involved. There have been many attempts over the past 100 years to explain the creative process that occurs while people are attempting to solve problems. I'm going to combine ideas from two such models of the st
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10.6 What drives invention in organisations?

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
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10.4 Desire to make money

While most inventors might dream of growing rich from their inventions few invent for that reason alone. There are some exceptions though.

Take the case of the safety razor. One person, a travelling salesman named King Camp Gillette, was primarily responsible for the original invention and prototype. Unlike many lone inventors Gillette was not inventing something arising from a hobby or a field of technology with which he was already familiar. He was deliberately searching for a winner.
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10.2 Scientific or technical curiosity

Some inventors understand a scientific phenomenon and set about inventing a technological device to exploit the phenomenon.

The invention of the laser grew from the interest of two researchers in studying the structure and characteristics of a variety of molecules. During the Second World War, Charles H. Townes worked on developing radar navigation bombing systems. After the war he had the idea of modifying the radar techniques and using microwaves to study molecular structure. Subseque
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9 Part 2: Invention

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2.5 Corrosion processes: galvanic series

A similar concept to the electrochemical series that has been used by engineers for many years is the galvanic series (one example of which is shown in Table 2: here the list should be read down the columns rather than across the rows). It ranks metals and alloys in order of reactivity or
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1.2 Component failure

We have all experienced component failures in one form or another. In many cases this is because something has reached the end of its working life due to a slow-acting failure mechanism: car tyres wear slowly and will eventually burst if not replaced; the filament in a light bulb slowly loses material until it cannot sustain the applied voltage and melts. Failures where something has been so badly designed that it cannot withstand its intended loading during normal use are rarer, but they do
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1.1 Safe design

This unit is about the concepts and theories that underpin the field of engineering known as Structural integrity – that is, the safe design and assessment of load-bearing structures in their entirety, including any individual components from which they may have been constructed. Aspects of structural integrity are implemented in almost every engineering design process, even if the engineer or designer does not necessarily think of it in that way. In this unit, we have separated the
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Reading Political Philosophy: From Machiavelli to Mill
The history and development of political philosophy has been dominated by many inspirational and radical thinkers. The tracks on this album offer both an introduction and an in-depth insight into the leading theorists in this field and their most important works. In a series of lively and invigorating discussions, leading political philosophers examine canonical texts and seminal thinkers from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century, highlighting their intellectual and cultural impact and the
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Analysing European Romanticism
The principal tenets of the movement known as Romanticism first began in Germany and England, with the former pioneering the moral and philosophical beliefs and the latter producing the first Romantic artists and poets. This album concentrates on the development and spread of Romanticism in mainland Europe, analysing in clear, concise terms the metaphysical questions and beliefs that engendered the movement, along with the cultural and historical contexts that encouraged its development. The alb
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Myth at the heart of the Roman Empire
How and why did ancient Romans use myth to validate their power? Emperor Augustus legitimised his rule by entwining his own ancestry with the mythical stories of Rome's foundation, and created a divine aura around Rome as capital of the vast empire. This album visits key emblems associated with Rome's beginnings: the Forum and the Capitoline Hill with its statue of the she-wolf and Romulus and Remus; the Emperor Augustus's palace and ceremonial altar, and the 17th Century D'Arpino frescos of fou
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Wordsworth, De Quincy and Dove cottage
Can a location inspire great poetry? To what extent can a person’s environment influence their art? After leaving the area as a child the Romantic poet William Wordsworth returned to the Lake District and remained there from 1799 to 1802. Surrounded by scenery he cherished Wordsworth composed some of his best poetry in Dove Cottage, but the building was also the residence of friend Thomas De Quincy whom documented his time with the Wordsworth’s as well as his own experiences in the property.
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6 Part 1: 5 Dead certs and dead ends

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5.15 Intellectual property and patents

At any stage of the innovation process, from invention to diffusion, a bright idea with market potential can be a target for unscrupulous copying. Or, as you've seen with simultaneous invention, people might be working on similar ideas in parallel and the origins of inventive ideas might be difficult to identify with precision. So it is sensible for inventors to establish their claim to a particular invention and to protect it against unauthorised exploitation by others.

There are diffe
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5.14 Compact fluorescents and new developments

In the case of the electric light there were a series of incremental product innovations (metal filaments, gas filled bulbs, frosted bulbs) as well as process innovations (some of which were mentioned above), which steadily improved performance and reduced price until, by the 1930s, the incandescent light was mature and diffused in many nations.

Then in the mid-1930s a new invention appeared that was to challenge the incandescent lamp – the fluorescent lamp. This was the culmination o
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Introduction

Historians on both sides of the Atlantic have argued that the empire was not an issue of popular interest in the late nineteenth-century Britain and the United States. This course examines some of the evidence available to assess the truth of this claim. More broadly, the course raises questions related to evidence: is it possible to discover what ‘ordinary’ people thought about expansionism?

‘I couldn't give a damn’; ‘I don't know anything about politics’; ‘Why don't they
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