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Article

Mervi Hasu, Laura Honkaniemi, Eveliina Saari, Tuuli Mattelmäki and Leena Koponen

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a workshop process to enhance the learning of employee-driven innovating (LEDI) and to evaluate in multiple ways the practical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a workshop process to enhance the learning of employee-driven innovating (LEDI) and to evaluate in multiple ways the practical effects of the LEDI process, which aimed to enhance the employee-driven innovation practices at workplace level in a public organisation. Although front-line employees are increasingly encouraged to participate in innovation, organisations lack multi-level knowledge on the practices, outcomes and effects of participation.

Design/methodology/approach

A six-month development process (LEDI) was conducted to empower front-line hospital support service workers to learn to innovate and to apply this in the services they provide. The process consisted of different themes: future visions, current services, creating new services and evaluations of ideas and innovation embryos. The multi-method evaluation of the process included pre-evaluation of the generated innovation ideas, a developmental evaluation of the selected innovation embryos, a follow-up evaluation of the innovation ideas and an evaluation of the organisational level effect via a quantitative survey.

Findings

The intervention process had positive effects on employee participation and learning to innovate. The conclusion of the four evaluations is that the LEDI process developed a new kind of agency among employees and enabled significant improvements to services. The evaluation of the organisation-level effect revealed that the process had also improved the views regarding preconditions for development.

Originality/value

The intervention method is a practical application of employee-driven innovation conception that is validated as practical and effective at workplace level. The process is a viable method for enhancing workers’ innovation-related learning in service organisations. The novelty of the method is based on the multi-disciplinary combination of approaches that consist of theories of practice-based innovation, expansive learning and emphatic human-centred service design.

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Book part

Vijaya Sherry Chand

This chapter presents a model of innovation in the public elementary schooling system by drawing on ongoing work on an “Educational Innovations Bank” in India, which seeks…

Abstract

This chapter presents a model of innovation in the public elementary schooling system by drawing on ongoing work on an “Educational Innovations Bank” in India, which seeks to make available a freely accessible forum for innovative teachers and a grassroots innovations resource for administrators. How do some teachers in government elementary schools, working in contexts of socioeconomic and educational deprivation, achieve their educational goals in spite of facing the same constraints as thousands of other teachers? What lessons do they offer for policy reform? The answers draw on the social entrepreneurship and workplace innovation literature to first locate the incentive for innovation in the social value that socio-educationally entrepreneurial and innovative behavior of teachers creates. Next, an examination is presented of how this social value leads to learning for an identity of competence, which in turn provides an incentive for further educational innovation. Finally, the evidence is presented to argue for policy entrepreneurship and a formal framework to help in the diffusion, adoption, and adaptation of both the enabling innovations that result from socio-educational entrepreneurship and the in-school or in-class educational innovations. Such a “bottom-up,” peer-learning-based approach to innovations that also “improve” provides a unique way of visualizing educational reform in resource-constrained public educational systems.

Details

International Educational Innovation and Public Sector Entrepreneurship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-708-5

Keywords

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Article

Arja Haapasaari, Yrjö Engeström and Hannele Kerosuo

The purpose of this paper is to examine the generation of innovations by employees and the creation of initiative paths, and to discover which factors contribute to the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the generation of innovations by employees and the creation of initiative paths, and to discover which factors contribute to the implementation of an initiative.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on longitudinal qualitative research, the study explores the profiles of initiative paths and the types of innovations and relationships among the generated innovations.

Findings

It was found that, to become an innovation, an initiative followed different paths along which the processing and outcomes varied, as did the time needed for experimentation. The creation of initiative paths required the transformative agency of the actors involved. Power relations had an impact on the generation of initiatives and implementation of innovations.

Originality/value

Innovations research has concentrated on the generation of ideas and the implementation of innovations. This study focuses on the process path along which ideas become innovations and on the role of power relations in the innovations process.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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Article

Leif Jarle Gressgård, Oscar Amundsen, Tone Merethe Aasen and Kåre Hansen

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how organizations focusing on employee-driven innovation (EDI) use information and communication technologies (ICT)-based tools…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how organizations focusing on employee-driven innovation (EDI) use information and communication technologies (ICT)-based tools in their innovation work. EDI involves systematic exploitation of knowledge resources in organizations. Thus, the role of ICT for efficient knowledge management is important in this respect.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth interviews with employees, managers and union representatives from 20 organizations focusing on EDI were conducted. The sample included organizations from eight different industries, representing both private and public sectors.

Findings

The results show that ICT-based tools can support the processes of acquisition, dissemination and exploitation of knowledge, which are important aspects of EDI. However, use of ICT-based tools has to be aligned with organizational structures and professional role conduct to be efficient.

Practical implications

This study contributes to practice by highlighting several factors that organizations should emphasize to succeed with application of external and internal knowledge in their innovation work.

Originality/value

This study applies a knowledge management perspective on the role of ICT-based tools to support EDI in organizations. The findings contribute to an improved understanding of organizational conditions for succeeding with use of ICT-based tools in innovation work, and emphasize that perspectives on knowledge management, technology management and human resource management have to be combined to understand how EDI can be promoted by using ICT in organizations.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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Article

Chukwuemeka K. Echebiri and Stein Amundsen

The purpose of this study is to explore the association of two opposite leadership styles with employee-driven innovation and how the leader–member exchange mediates these…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the association of two opposite leadership styles with employee-driven innovation and how the leader–member exchange mediates these relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used online surveys administrated in two waves to collect data from 315 employees working in the banking sector in Norway. Exogenous variables, which include empowering and directive leadership styles, were measured at time 1, while the endogenous variables of the leader–member exchange and employee-driven innovation were measured at time 2. The data were analysed using structural equation modelling.

Findings

The findings confirmed that empowering leaders are more likely to have a positive relationship with their subordinates and in turn, stimulate employee-driven innovation. Conversely, the directive leadership style was found to have a negative relationship with the quality of the relationship between leaders and subordinates. It was also found that the association of directive leadership with employee-driven innovation was negative and indirect through the leader–member exchange.

Research limitations/implications

The data for the study were collected from a single organisation, which limits the generalisability of the study. Several other leadership styles were not covered in this study.

Originality/value

This paper provides empirical evidence to support the association between leadership styles and employee-driven innovation. Analyses of these relationship types are unavailable in the employee-driven innovation literature.

Details

Evidence-based HRM: a Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-3983

Keywords

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Article

Josefine Weigt-Rohrbeck and Mai Skjøtt Linneberg

Previous work on employee-driven innovation (EDI) has demonstrated the benefits of employees’ proactive behavior in achieving success with innovations. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

Previous work on employee-driven innovation (EDI) has demonstrated the benefits of employees’ proactive behavior in achieving success with innovations. The purpose of this paper is to employ the concept of personal initiative to investigate the underestimated role of employees’ agency in complex processes of innovation, showing the impact of personal initiative on employees’ innovation success.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on two embedded cases of environmental bottom-up innovation at a large manufacturing company, this study examines employees’ behavior in generating, championing and realizing such initiatives.

Findings

This paper provides insights into how employees succeeded, through taking initiative in generating, championing and realizing environmental initiatives despite facing high complexity, and resource constraints. Without being prompted from the top down, employees started these initiatives themselves and showed phase-specific behavior in overcoming the various challenges. Thus, self-starting behavior was found dominant in generating ideas, whereas proactive and persistent forms of behavior were found to be prevalent in championing and rolling out the initiatives.

Originality/value

Current understandings of EDI highlight the importance of developing employees’ potential capabilities and organizational-level guidance. Using an active performance perspective, this study emphasizes the importance of employees’ agency in ensuring EDI success, even when conditions are not conducive to their doing so.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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Article

Yi-Ying Chang, Ian Hodgkinson, Paul Hughes and Che-Yuan Chang

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of intermediate knowledge mechanisms on the participative leadership–employee exploratory innovation relationship using a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of intermediate knowledge mechanisms on the participative leadership–employee exploratory innovation relationship using a distal mediation model.

Design/methodology/approach

Deploying a time-lagged questionnaire method implemented over four business quarters, data are generated from 1,600 responses in R&D units of Taiwanese technology firms.

Findings

The structural equation modeling results reveal that participative leadership is positively related to employee exploratory innovation; coworker knowledge and absorptive capacity partially mediate the relationship between participative leadership and employee exploratory innovation independently; and coworker knowledge sharing in combination with absorptive capacity partially mediates this relationship.

Originality/value

The findings contribute new knowledge on the relationship between participative leadership and employee exploratory innovation by uncovering intermediate knowledge mechanisms that augment this relationship.

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Article

Satu Maarit Parjanen, Minna Saunila, Anne Kallio and Vesa Harmaakorpi

The purpose of this paper is to define the factors of innovativeness in the context of employee involvement and study how these factors could be affected by an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to define the factors of innovativeness in the context of employee involvement and study how these factors could be affected by an employee-driven innovation (EDI) process.

Design/methodology/approach

This study follows a quantitative approach through a survey. The survey data were collected from a case organisation, where employees designed an innovation manual in a participatory process to support their daily innovativeness.

Findings

According to the results, the EDI manual process can assist the organisation in developing their ideation and organising structures. The employees felt that their ideas were appreciated more after the innovation manual process. Understanding about innovation and innovativeness was also increased. In between two survey rounds, the focus of the most urgent development targets had shifted from internal idea management practices towards customer ideas, cooperation and appreciation of different ideas. This indicates that the internal innovation system has to work before it is reasonable to involve other stakeholders.

Originality/value

The study presents an empirical example of an employee-driven process in the context of public sector healthcare. It increases understanding about the importance of employee involvement in the innovation manual development process and how this process affects the factors of innovativeness.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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Article

Peter Kesting and John Parm Ulhøi

The purpose of this paper is to outline the “grand structure” of the phenomenon in order to identify both the underlying processes and core drivers of employee‐driven

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline the “grand structure” of the phenomenon in order to identify both the underlying processes and core drivers of employee‐driven innovation (EDI).

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper. It particularly applies the insights of contemporary research on routine and organizational decision making to the specific case of EDI.

Findings

The main result of the paper is that, from a theoretical point of view, it makes perfect sense to involve ordinary employees in innovation decisions. However, it is also outlined that naïve or ungoverned participation is counterproductive, and that it is quite difficult to realize the hidden potential in a supportive way.

Research limitations/implications

The main implication is that basic mechanisms for employee participation also apply to innovation decisions, although often in a different way. However, the paper only identifies the grand structure of the phenomenon. The different identified drivers have to be further elaborated and empirically tested.

Practical implications

EDI is a helpful tool to gain competitive advantage by utilizing the knowledge and creative potential of employees.

Originality/value

This is the first paper that gives a systematic overview of the grand structure of EDI and derives the most important moderating factors from that.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 48 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Content available
Article

Izabelle Bäckström and Malin Lindberg

The purpose of this paper is to advance knowledge about the mechanisms behind, and the implications of, varying involvement in digitally enhanced employee-driven innovation

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance knowledge about the mechanisms behind, and the implications of, varying involvement in digitally enhanced employee-driven innovation (EDI) by studying how a firm integrates a web-based tool in the organization of its EDI process.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a qualitative in-depth interview study with managers and employees at one high-performing and one low-performing office of a global IT firm, a critical discourse analysis was performed. It explored how the EDI discourse was produced, distributed and consumed in relation to the web-based tool for collecting and selecting employee ideas.

Findings

The results demonstrate that the production of the innovation discourse by the top-level management, which emphasizes client satisfaction rather than employee engagement, restricts the employees’ utilization of the digital platform that distributes the discourse. However, at the high-performing office, employee participation is ensured because the local managers act as co-distributors of the digital tool.

Research limitations/implications

The single case study design limits the generalizability of the results, but is nevertheless relevant for understanding the mechanisms and implications in similar contexts where web-based tools are used to enhance EDI processes.

Practical implications

The study provides practical insights into the importance of local management’s active promotion of digital tools in order to ensure employee involvement.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the EDI literature by identifying some mechanisms behind and the implications of varying employee involvement in digitally enhanced EDI processes.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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