Role Models for Radical Innovations in Times of Open Innovation

14 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2007

See all articles by Hans Georg Gemünden

Hans Georg Gemünden

Technical University of Berlin

Sören Salomo

Danish Technical University

Katharina Hölzle

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)


In this paper, we study the influence of innovator roles in highly innovative ventures. In order to obtain a differentiated picture we take into account the degree of innovativeness as a moderating variable. To test our hypotheses we use a sample of 146 highly innovative new product development projects. We choose a rigorous sampling design and apply state-of-the-art measures for the degree of innovativeness. Furthermore, we apply multi-trait-multi-method methodology (MTMM) to enhance the validity of our study. The results show that innovator roles have a strong influence on innovation success but these influences are positively and negatively moderated by innovativeness. The moderating influences depend on the type of innovativeness. Remarkably, with increasing technological innovativeness innovator roles which create inter-organizational links with the outside world appear to be more important than intra-organizational linker roles, and support from high-ranked organizational members turns out to have a significant negative effect on project success with higher degrees of technological innovativeness. Possible explanations for these findings are discussed and consequences for innovation research and innovation management are shown.

Suggested Citation

Gemuenden, Hans Georg and Salomo, Sören and Hoelzle, Katharina, Role Models for Radical Innovations in Times of Open Innovation. Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 408-421, December 2007, Available at SSRN: or

Hans Georg Gemuenden (Contact Author)

Technical University of Berlin ( email )

Strasse des 17
10623 Berlin

Sören Salomo

Danish Technical University ( email )

TEM Center
Produktionstorvet, Bygn. 421
Kgs. Lyngby (Copenhagen), 2800

Katharina Hoelzle

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) ( email )

Straße des 17
Berlin, 10623

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