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August 9, 2022 

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HIERARCHY OF NEEDS: Developed by Abraham Maslow, the notion that people are motivated to satisfy basic physiological needs (food, shelter, etc.) before moving on to satisfying higher psychological needs (security, companionship, etc.). These alternative needs are layered in a hierarchial pattern with physiological needs on the bottom, safety needs on the second layer, belonging needs on the third layer, esteem needs on the fourth layer, and self-actualization needs at the top. This hierarchy of needs has been used to help explain the progress of human societies from agrarian to manufacturing to service to information.

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PROCESS INNOVATION:

An innovation that is an improvement in an existing product, technology, or idea or an improvement in the way a product, technology, or idea is produced. The contrast is with a product innovation, which is an innovation of a new product, technology, or idea that generates a beneficial improvement in society and the economy; one that is fundamentally different from existing products, technologies, or ideas.
A process innovation is a (usually) moderate alteration of an existing is good, service, production technique, idea, concept, scientific theory, law, business, cultural norm, social organization, or government agency. This includes both an improvement in the good itself or how the good is produced. The "product" that is subject to the innovation need not be a tangible "good" that is exchanged through a market, but includes a wide range of "things" that affect the structure of society and the economy.

A related concept is product innovation, which is the process of developing and making available a new product that is substantially different from, and an improvement over, what currently exists. The line between product and process innovation is not always clear cut. In some cases an existing product can experience so many process innovations that it actually becomes a new product.

Process innovations range far and wide, affecting all aspects of economic production and society. One example is the introduction of automation in the manufacturing process. The same good is produced, it's merely done so in an improved, more efficient manner. Another example is increasing the processing speed and memory capacity of a personal computer. It's still a personal computer, just better and faster.

Television offers an interesting example of a good subject to so many process innovations that it effectively becomes a new product. It began with the simple audio transmission over AM frequencies, a simple radio. The addition of FM frequencies, the transmission of pictures, the addition of more tubes, then presto, the result is television.

The overlap between process and product innovations goes even deeper. Modifying automobile production with the addition of automated machinery, for example, is a process innovation. However, the automated machinery itself may in fact be a product innovation.

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Recommended Citation:

PROCESS INNOVATION, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2022. [Accessed: August 9, 2022].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | product innovation | innovation | behavioral alternatives | managerial behavior | entrepreneurial behavior | novel information | redundant information | institution | innovation profit | technology |


Or For A Little Background...

     | market structures | market structure continuum | market control | barriers to entry | business cycles | economic profit | entrepreneurship | risk | normal profit | opportunity cost | government functions |


And For Further Study...

     | economics of information | economics of uncertainty | risk preferences | alternative business cycles | creative destruction | good types | public goods | monopoly profit | innovation and entrepreneurship |


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