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The long game of innovation and value creation

Mark Klassen (Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada)
Grant Alexander Wilson (Hill and Levene Schools of Business, University of Regina, Regina, Canada)
C. Brooke Dobni (Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 3 May 2022

Issue publication date: 7 June 2023




The purpose of the paper is to emphasize the performance benefits of a long-term innovation and value creation perspective. This paper responds to the recent concept of the imagination premium method for valuing companies. It offers four key takeaways to create a long-term innovation-focused orientation for future value creation.


The research is based on both consulting experience and insight from several studies of executives that were supported by the U.S. Conference Board.


The research differentiates how high versus low innovators create long-term perspectives and value. High innovators have explicit processes that support innovation, leadership that focuses on long-term performance, resources committed to long-term projects and innovation and knowledge management systems that transfer knowledge throughout the organization.

Research limitations/implications

The research offers strategic directives aimed at creating long-term value but acknowledges that there are other means to accomplish such objectives.

Practical implications

This paper offers strategies for executives to create an innovation-focused organizational culture that drives lasting long-term value.

Social implications

Focusing on long-term innovation prioritizes larger social, environmental and business objectives over superficial short-term stock price changes, leading to greater value-creation.


This paper advocates that leadership play the long game and adopt a longer-term view of innovation due to its long-term competitive, employee engagement, sustainability and performance benefits.



Klassen, M., Wilson, G.A. and Dobni, C.B. (2023), "The long game of innovation and value creation", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 44 No. 4, pp. 183-190.



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