Boeing’s Innovation Management approach


Boeing’s Innovation Management approach






Introduction of Boeing Dream liner airplane

The Boeing dream liner is an airplane that stands out from other planes cutting a competitive edge in aviation industry. It has seats that vary from 210 to 290 passengers. It is the most efficient consumer of fuel as it consumes about 20% less fuel than 767. The distinguishing features are the four panel windshields, chevrons that reduce noise on engine nacelles, and the nose that have smoother counter. It is compatible with 777 twinjet thus allowing pilots to operate both models without any difficulties because of rated design features. The development of the plane has evolved over time and has involved large scale collaboration with numerous suppliers around the globe.

Boeing Dream liner airplane’s Innovation Process

Innovation of dream liner airplane came from diverse ideas that were borne from knowledge push, and a niche that had not been exploited. This gave fresh and new directions for innovations of the unique airplane of the 21st century (Tidd & Bessant, 2009). The Boeing dream liner product has come a long way. The ideas were born very many years back by using existing Boeing models. This was attained through challenging existing models through observing, through the problems that was encountered, and research. This involves many principles and assumptions.

The A380 designed earlier gave the back bone of Boeing dream liner. Through the A380, there resulted a very big change that gave rise to the emergence of a new product- the Boeing dream liner airplane (Bourdreau, 2012). The innovation search started as a result of the many inventions that were already in place; which utilizes the drawbacks of the already existing ideas and came up with new creative ideas that resulted to the product which is today among the best air lines in the world. It is observed that innovation change comes a long way gradually building on the existing ideas until a desired product is achieved (Bessant, Moslein, & Stamn, 2012).

The other factor that triggered innovation of the dream liner is the research done on the needs of customers together with taking the risks that is involved. The dream liner is a radical innovation ever achieved in time. The unique shape that is very aerodynamic was obtained by utilizing new technology design with the incorporation of lower weight composite fibers that are stronger than metals that was earlier used (Drutman, 2009).

The use of advanced technology such as the advanced scanned radar array system that allows the crew to track multiple targets and check at the same time giving them the chance to avoid trafficking and advanced infrared system which enables the crew to see and check adverse weather conditions. These are innovation processes that have come a long way. The manufacturers of Boeing dream liner adopted the most recent technologies for the best product ever achieved on earth.   In communications, there are the basic terminal local area network unit, crew wireless local area network units, aircraft Communications Addressing and reporting (ACARS), High Frequency Data link Mode 2, and provisions for broadband Satellite communications are the most current technologies that have been utilized in the plane. Moreover, there is the inbuilt advanced flight deck which has fewer replaceable lines units, more software which are upgradeable, and easy to configure (Gay, 2012).

The e-enabled tools proved flight crew, cabin crew, and ground personnel fast access of quality information. E-enabled system has been site on the ground with Boeing assistance. This is capable of handling operations efficiently and thereby enhancing revenue. Also, the e-enabled feature allows easy maintenance in the back office with minimal hands on mechanic involvement (Tidd & Bessant, 2009).

Boeing’s Dream liner airplane’s Innovation network

The emergence of Boeing dream liner capitalized on cost reduction with the intention of enhancing the experience of the customer. The manufacture of the model relied heavily on innovation networks where firms were outsourced from different parts of the world. Subcontracting assemblies was made up of several contractors where each sector specializes in different parts that make up the dream liner. After completion of every part, they were transported to a central assembly point where the parts were joined to come up with the product (Gay, 2012).

In my own opinion, I see this as an innovation network. First, because this was the first company to subcontract different contractors to produce different parts at different locations globally. Secondly, the involvement of experts with unique specializations forms a network of expert. This in itself is an innovation network.  Furthermore, the conglomeration of companies and skills to allow sharing of ideas and eases production concerns. For example between Boeing and the Japanese manufacturer Toray industries to produce carbon fiber forms an innovation network since the two can work together to produce composite materials that has never been used in the aviation industry (Bessant, Moslein, & Stamn, 2012).

The innovative approach adopted allowed industry principals to take over responsibilities, costs, and risks. The industry principals were given mandate to deliver the product on time working within their own budget limitations (Ekboir, 2009). The Boeing’s innovation network has enabled sourcing of experts, materials, and vast experiences from all parts of the world (Drutman, 2009).
Boeing Dream liner airplane’s Decision making for incremental innovation

The Boeing top leadership led the way and adopted radical and reconfigurations that contributed to stabilization of the company. Competencies and transformational leadership, ability to connect group, dream, charisma, and empowerment of the employees give rise to high performance. This was further strengthened by using intellectual stimulation of employees by rewarding them lucratively.  By the combination of all these, the company was able to come up with radical changes that led to the present Boeing dream liner (Gay, 2012). The Boeing 737 depicts the incremental innovation where refinement of other model was used. The first one that came into inception in 1968 is now in the 9th iteration. All through the development process, there have been minor adjustments and improvements on the size, engine, fixtures, and aboard diversions (Bourdreau, 2012).

The dream liner diverted from other models ever developed and employed radical innovation. This is where there totally new shift in the ideas and methods employed in producing a product. The radical innovation employed was challenging and involved a lot of risks and costs. The outside has the shape stand out as it has windshield composed of four panels, the wings, and the smooth front nose. The materials used are light and last longer than metals (Bessant, Moslein, & Stamn, 2012).

When we observe the interior it is more comfortable for passengers, has bigger windows that are in better position and has tint that can be adjusted, a smaller amount of dry air, light emitting diode that is dynamic, utilizes advanced technology among the many stunning features (Bourdreau, 2012).

 Boeing’s Dream liner airplane’s business planning

The Boeing’s strategies made use composite material that requires involvements of the supply chain. This was made possible when different sections of expertise were employed and specialization was a factor. By the use of this, the process was made simple and to the required standards.  The management of talents expanded beyond the company’s talent management to the suppliers. They had to learn how to manage the supply chain to harness talent and for parts. Through good and effective planning, the company combined talent resources, talent record, and blended talent channel mechanism in order to optimize price, threat, and tactical achievement (Gay, 2012).

In Boeing 787 components used such as carpet met the required standards and therefore reduces in the cost and the returns level off. Likewise, the wing mainframe boxes are of better quality and therefore bring some returns on improved performance. The supply chain for these two components is different and therefore managed separately. The main reason is to reduce the level of risk as much as possible without compromising quality (Bourdreau, 2012). The engineers on the other hand work to maintain the quality of aluminum based materials as high as possible, and when recruiting needed skills they consider skills to carry much weight. They do so in order to ensure that standards conforming to set standards are met. The engineers are able to gear investments of every component used in the aircraft so that all these impact directly on the cost, range of flight, and the comfort of the passengers. The Boeing Company has spread all these to all other sections so that talents and the investment in the organization bring biggest strategic difference (Gay, 2012). The success of the Boeing dream liner is seen to have radically erupted from the way the whole system was organized. The management in my own view employed project strategies that are both long term and short term (Bourdreau, 2012).

In order to compete favorably in the market, the company adopted the initiative of global sourcing and outsourcing so as to achieve economies of scale, make maximum use of the global supply chain, and to get the best innovative product. There vision of having people to work together was supported by the introduction of programs that benefit employees, and the was expanded and diversified so as to attract the best qualified people around the globe with no consideration of religion, race, gender, and disability. These opened up windows to attract the best expertise worldwide (Gay, 2012).


In conclusion, it is clear that the dream liner innovation in the Boeing Company for 787 dream liner exist. The use of carbon fiber was used to produce the first plane that was set to take on air and no other aircraft company has achieved. This lead to placement of very many orders even before the flight was inaugurated.

The company exercised innovation at the ground level where people have education, communication, and recognition of the fact that innovation key to the success of every business. These promoted innovation at the individual level. The success of the Boeing dream liner is seen to have radically erupted from the way the whole system was organized. The management in my own view employed project strategies that are both long term and short term.

I can boldly say that entrepreneurial needs was established when they spotted the gap that was not filled in aviation industry. The innovation brought comfort in aviation industry where we see that passengers are able to fly comfortably taking advantage of all the features of the dream liner.


Bessant, J., Moslein, K., & Stamn, B. (2012). In Search of Innovation, Wall Journal. Retrieved

11 /18/2012, from html

Bourdreau, J. W. (2012). Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner Retools Talent Management. Retrieved 11 18,

2012, from

Drutman. (2009). Where Does Innovation Come From? Pacific standard. Retrieved from

Ekboir, J. (2009). How to build Innovation networks, Istitutional learning ana change initiative.

Retrieved 11 /17/ 2012, from

Gay, P. (2012). Brainmates. Retrieved 11 18, 2012, from

Innovation and Product Development – the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Rayna, T., & Striukova, L. (2009). The Curse of the first-Mover: When Incremental Innovation

Leads to Radical Change. International Journal of Collaborative Enterprise , (1) 4-21.

Tidd, T., & Bessant, J. (2009). Managing innovation, integration technology, market and

organizational change. John Wiley & Sons Inc.


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