Sources of Innovation

Topics: Innovation, Research, Creativity Pages: 12 (3478 words) Published: October 13, 2013
Chapter 2
Sources of Innovation

In this chapter consideration is given to the role of creativity as the underlying process for the generation of novel and useful ideas. Individual creativity is considered to a function of intellectual abilities, knowledge, thinking styles, personality traits, intrinsic motivation and environment. Firm creativity is more than the sum of member creativity. Firm creativity is also a function of the organizational structure and the strategic management approach employed. The chapter moves on to explore how creativity is transformed into innovative outcomes by the separate components of the innovation system (e.g., individuals, firms, etc) and the linkages between the different components. The last part of the chapter focuses on the role of innovation networks in new product/process development. Firms are most likely to collaborate with customers, suppliers, and universities, though they also may collaborate with competitors, producers of complements, government laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and other research institutions. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of technological clusters including how they are formed and the benefits associated with them. The role of knowledge transfer in the creation of clusters is demonstrated in the context of Silicon Valley.

1. To help students understand the relationship between creativity and innovation. 2. To explore, quantitatively and qualitatively, the role played by individuals, firms, universities, governments, and non-profits in innovation. 3. The chapter highlights the role of collaborative networks in innovation, including technological spillovers, and technology clusters.

I) Overview

a. Innovation can arise from many different sources including individuals, firms, universities, government laboratories and incubators, and private non-profit organizations. b. Firms are well suited to innovation activities because they are highly motivated by the need to remain competitive and because have the management systems needed to organize their resources to achieve an organizations’ objectives. c. An even more important source of innovation is the networks that link innovators together. These networks leverage a broader range of knowledge and resources than an individual entity could.

See Figure 2.1

II) Creativity
a. Creativity is defined as the ability to produce work that is useful and novel (i.e. different and surprising when compared to prior work). The most creative works are novel at the individual producer level, the local audience level, and the broader societal level. When a product is novel to its creator but know to everyone else it is referred to as a reinvention. b. Individual creativity is a function of intellectual abilities, knowledge, style of thinking, personality, motivation, and environment. Researchers have argued that the most important capability is the ability to look at problems in unconventional ways. i. Too much knowledge can result in an inability to think beyond the existing logic and paradigms of a field while too little knowledge can lead to trivial contributions ii. The most creative individuals can distinguish important problems from unimportant ones. iii. Self-efficacy, tolerance for ambiguity, and a willingness to overcome obstacles and take reasonable risks are the personality traits most important for creativity. iv. Intrinsic motivation has also been shown to be very important for creativity. c. Organizational creativity is a function of creativity of the individuals within the organization and a variety of social processes and contextual factors that shape the way those individuals interact and behave. i. The creativity of individuals can be amplified or thwarted by an organization’s structure, routines, and incentives. Common methods of tapping employee creativity include 1) the...
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