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Opening the “Black Box” of Innovation The Use of Cultural Analysis in Measuring Innovation Capability

Padurariu, Cezara Andreea LU and Gedvilaite, Dovile LU (2014) TKAM02 20141
Division of Ethnology
Abstract
Innovation is a dynamic process that has been extensively studied by researchers across different fields: a variety of frameworks and mental models have been produced as a result of efforts to measure and manage innovations. However, despite its obvious importance to the success of an innovation process, the “culture” of innovation remains an uninvestigated
“black box”. Our thesis examines the complex phenomenon of innovation culture to identify criteria that define and make it possible to measure and assess it, and thus an organization‟s capability to innovate. In order to do so, a qualitative cultural analytical perspective is used - a novel approach within the academia as well as the corporate world.
Our study is grounded in... (More)
Innovation is a dynamic process that has been extensively studied by researchers across different fields: a variety of frameworks and mental models have been produced as a result of efforts to measure and manage innovations. However, despite its obvious importance to the success of an innovation process, the “culture” of innovation remains an uninvestigated
“black box”. Our thesis examines the complex phenomenon of innovation culture to identify criteria that define and make it possible to measure and assess it, and thus an organization‟s capability to innovate. In order to do so, a qualitative cultural analytical perspective is used - a novel approach within the academia as well as the corporate world.
Our study is grounded in social-anthropological theories and its empirical context is business innovation, more specifically, the successful development of ProViva. Firstly, we investigate the characteristics of the culture of innovation in which ProViva was developed, and demonstrate how essential it was in determining the organization‟s capability to innovate.
Secondly, we critically reflect upon cultural analysis as a tool to understand innovation culture in general. Based on our study of the ProViva case, we have constructed a model that we call the Innovation Wheel, which can be used as a tool to “audit” an organization‟s Innovation Culture, that is, an instrument used to measure an organization‟s capability and potential to innovate in terms of its organizational culture. We present an overview of how the model was developed and apply it to various businesses in Sweden to demonstrate how the Wheel can be used to outline different innovation-culture profiles. To clarify the contribution of the Innovation Wheel compared to other models not taking culture into consideration, it is contrasted to the Diamond Model offered by Tidd, Bessant, and Pavitt (2005).
Finally, we conclude - using the Wheel as a diagnostic tool which makes this clearly visible - that innovation most often seems to take place at the interface between different businesses, areas or departments where cultures differ and common understanding is hard to reach. Intermediaries thus become key persons facilitating interactions between various fields and their cultures, and as a consequence, identifiable as (cultural) keys in innovation processes. (Less)
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author
Padurariu, Cezara Andreea LU and Gedvilaite, Dovile LU
supervisor
organization
course
TKAM02 20141
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
MACA, reward system, habitus, ANT, ethnography, applied cultural analysis, innovation wheel, innovation model, innovation capability, innovation, innovation culture audit, innovation cultures
language
English
id
4538586
date added to LUP
2015-03-09 09:27:16
date last changed
2015-03-09 09:27:16
@misc{4538586,
  abstract     = {Innovation is a dynamic process that has been extensively studied by researchers across different fields: a variety of frameworks and mental models have been produced as a result of efforts to measure and manage innovations. However, despite its obvious importance to the success of an innovation process, the “culture” of innovation remains an uninvestigated
“black box”. Our thesis examines the complex phenomenon of innovation culture to identify criteria that define and make it possible to measure and assess it, and thus an organization‟s capability to innovate. In order to do so, a qualitative cultural analytical perspective is used - a novel approach within the academia as well as the corporate world.
Our study is grounded in social-anthropological theories and its empirical context is business innovation, more specifically, the successful development of ProViva. Firstly, we investigate the characteristics of the culture of innovation in which ProViva was developed, and demonstrate how essential it was in determining the organization‟s capability to innovate.
Secondly, we critically reflect upon cultural analysis as a tool to understand innovation culture in general. Based on our study of the ProViva case, we have constructed a model that we call the Innovation Wheel, which can be used as a tool to “audit” an organization‟s Innovation Culture, that is, an instrument used to measure an organization‟s capability and potential to innovate in terms of its organizational culture. We present an overview of how the model was developed and apply it to various businesses in Sweden to demonstrate how the Wheel can be used to outline different innovation-culture profiles. To clarify the contribution of the Innovation Wheel compared to other models not taking culture into consideration, it is contrasted to the Diamond Model offered by Tidd, Bessant, and Pavitt (2005).
Finally, we conclude - using the Wheel as a diagnostic tool which makes this clearly visible - that innovation most often seems to take place at the interface between different businesses, areas or departments where cultures differ and common understanding is hard to reach. Intermediaries thus become key persons facilitating interactions between various fields and their cultures, and as a consequence, identifiable as (cultural) keys in innovation processes.},
  author       = {Padurariu, Cezara Andreea and Gedvilaite, Dovile},
  keyword      = {MACA,reward system,habitus,ANT,ethnography,applied cultural analysis,innovation wheel,innovation model,innovation capability,innovation,innovation culture audit,innovation cultures},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Opening the “Black Box” of Innovation The Use of Cultural Analysis in Measuring Innovation Capability},
  year         = {2014},
}