Not Available for Download

The Influence of Hierarchy on Idea Generation and Selection in the Innovation Process

Organization Science, Forthcoming

Posted: 5 Jun 2016 Last revised: 29 Aug 2017

Daniel Dongil Keum

Columbia University - Columbia Business School

Kelly E. See

New York University - Department of Management and Organizations

Date Written: December 1, 2014

Abstract

The link between organizational structure and innovation has been a longstanding interest of organizational scholars, yet the exact nature of the relationship has not been clearly established. Drawing on the behavioral theory of the firm, we take a process view and examine how hierarchy of authority – a fundamental element of organizational structure reflecting degree of managerial oversight – differentially influences behavior and performance in the idea generation versus idea selection phases of the innovation process. Using a multi-method approach that includes a field study and a lab experiment, we find that hierarchy of authority is detrimental to the idea generation phase of innovation, but that hierarchy can be beneficial during the screening or selection phase of innovation. We also identify a behavioral mechanism underlying the effect of hierarchy of authority on selection performance and propose that selection is a critical organizational capability that can be strategically developed and managed through organizational design. Our investigation helps clarify the theoretical relationship between structure and innovation performance and demonstrates the behavioral and economic consequences of organizational design choice.

Keywords: hierarchy-authority, innovation-idea-generation-selection, organizational design-structure, advice-input utilization, behavioral theory of the firm

JEL Classification: O31, O32

Suggested Citation

Keum, Daniel Dongil and See, Kelly E., The Influence of Hierarchy on Idea Generation and Selection in the Innovation Process (December 1, 2014). Organization Science, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2789865 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2789865

Daniel Dongil Keum (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Columbia Business School ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Kelly E. See

New York University - Department of Management and Organizations ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
390