Staff at Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) – University of Copenhagen

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Innovating by doing: promoting on-the-job experimentation through a climate for innovation

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Firms’ innovation performance and productivity depend on engaging the entire organisation in the innovation process. Going beyond the typical focus on R&D, the focus of this article is on engaging those employees who are active in ‘productive’ activities in innovation. This article explores how a firm can create an environment in which those employees can build on their local needs and knowledge to learn and innovate through a process of experimentation and problem solving during ‘on-the-job’ activities. I draw on innovation, creativity and organisational climate research to explore the determinants and effects of such innovative behaviour. I develop a theoretical framework of how organisational practices affect employees’ willingness and ability to experiment – a behavioural integral to innovation. I furthermore argue that the relationship between such ‘climate for innovation’ and the ultimate performance is inverse U-shaped. The framework implies that managers can turn the entire organisation into an innovation lab but they need to balance the tension between productive and innovative practices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing
Volume10
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)362-382
Number of pages21
ISSN1742-5360
StatePublished - 2018

ID: 198720704