Innovating by Doing: Promoting On-the-Job Experimentation Through a Climate for Innovation

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, Forthcoming

31 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2016  

Marcel Bogers

University of Copenhagen - Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO)

Date Written: April 10, 2016

Abstract

Firms’ innovation performance and productivity depend on engaging the entire organization 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 organizational climate research to explore the determinants and effects of such innovative behavior. I develop a theoretical framework of how organizational practices affect employees’ willingness and ability to experiment — a behavioral 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 organization into an innovation lab but they need to balance the tension between productive and innovative practices.

Keywords: Corporate entrepreneurship, experimentation, innovation, intrapreneurship, learning, organizational climate, performance, production floor, productivity, user firm

Suggested Citation

Bogers, Marcel, Innovating by Doing: Promoting On-the-Job Experimentation Through a Climate for Innovation (April 10, 2016). International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2761895

Marcel Bogers (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) ( email )

Unit for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management
Rolighedsvej 25
Copenhagen, 1958
Denmark

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