Modelling the Innovation Process: A Multi-Case Comparison

162 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2009

Date Written: February 1, 2007


This thesis studies the management of the internal innovation process. Innovation is considered critical to success in business today, yet companies do not always unlock the value contained within innovations. The purpose of this study is to develop an understanding of the practical systems currently employed by companies and to gain insight into the activities leading to successful innovation outcomes. The expectation is that a more structured approach to innovation management would deliver greater effectiveness to realizing innovation value.

A multiple case study strategy was utilized comparing and analyzing three companies’ existing innovation-to-outcome systems, with Rogers’ Innovation Decision Process model adopted to ground the study. The findings advance knowledge of innovation system events and related features with results revealing two main innovation systems as consistent across the companies studied. There is a basic system for realizing incremental innovation as a consequence of an organization's ethos for continuous improvement. The second is a more complex system for radical innovations. This second system supplements the basic version by providing safeguards against the risk inherent nature of this type of innovation.

The research indicates that a successful innovation-to-outcome system does not operate in isolation. Rather it appears that there is a link between companies’ operating environments and the effective realization of innovation value. Further, the results suggest that for such companies successful unlocking of innovation value can lead to growth. This in turn requires formalizing innovation systems to sustain innovation activities. This study offers an emerging input/output model drawing on insights and referencing patterns associated with best practice. The model provides a basis for companies to formalize the management of their innovation activities.

Keywords: Innovation, process, best practice

Suggested Citation

Evitt, Fern M, Modelling the Innovation Process: A Multi-Case Comparison (February 1, 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Fern M Evitt (Contact Author)

University of Auckland ( email )

Private Bag 92019
Auckland Mail Centre
Auckland, 1142
New Zealand

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