Product Champions as Facilitators of Innovation

3 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2011

See all articles by David Wilemon

David Wilemon

Syracuse University - Whitman School of Management

Date Written: June, 22 2011


Product champions often play a major role in facilitating entrepreneurial behavior and innovation within organizations. Without the influence and efforts of these entrepreneurial champions, many organizational initiatives would not be successful. Examples of organizational initiatives often influenced by champions include: new product development, new internal ventures, implementing a new information technology (IT) system, strategy creation & implementation, etc. Prior research, however, finds that up to 70% of change/innovation initiatives fail (Higgs & Rowland, 2005). Howell and Higgins (1990) describe the role and importance of product champions this way:

There is no shortage of creative ideas…However, for innovation to occur someone must take the creative idea, guide it through the trying period when resistance hits a peak, and persevere until it becomes an innovation. In short, every idea needs a champion.

The objective of this paper is to understand more thoroughly the role of product champions in organizations and to identify what we know about several major areas considered important to product champion behavior.

Suggested Citation

Wilemon, David, Product Champions as Facilitators of Innovation (June, 22 2011). SIBR, Available at SSRN: or

David Wilemon (Contact Author)

Syracuse University - Whitman School of Management ( email )

Innovation Management Research Center
900 S. Crouse Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2130
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics