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Article

Sladjana Nørskov, Peter Kesting and John Parm Ulhøi

This paper aims to present that deliberate change is strongly associated with formal structures and top-down influence. Hierarchical configurations have been used to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present that deliberate change is strongly associated with formal structures and top-down influence. Hierarchical configurations have been used to structure processes, overcome resistance and get things done. But is deliberate change also possible without formal structures and hierarchical influence?

Design/methodology/approach

This longitudinal, qualitative study investigates an open-source software (OSS) community named TYPO3. This case exhibits no formal hierarchical attributes. The study is based on mailing lists, interviews and observations.

Findings

The study reveals that deliberate change is indeed achievable in a non-hierarchical collaborative OSS community context. However, it presupposes the presence and active involvement of informal change agents. The paper identifies and specifies four key drivers for change agents’ influence.

Originality/value

The findings contribute to organisational analysis by providing a deeper understanding of the importance of leadership in making deliberate change possible in non-hierarchical settings. It points to the importance of “change-by-conviction”, essentially based on voluntary behaviour. This can open the door to reducing the negative side effects of deliberate change also for hierarchical organisations.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

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Article

Sladjana Vujovic and John Parm Ulhøi

The aim of this paper is to investigate the role of online networking during the innovation process, including its role(s) in communication, cooperation and coordination…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to investigate the role of online networking during the innovation process, including its role(s) in communication, cooperation and coordination. The paper neither implicitly assumes that online computer‐based networking is a prerequisite for the innovation process nor denies the possibility that innovation can emerge and successfully survive without it. It merely presupposes that, in cases of innovation where information and communication technologies play a substantial role, non‐proprietarity may offer an interesting alternative to innovations based on proprietary knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper borrows from the theory of communities‐of‐practice, which takes into account social relations, contacts, and the transfer and incorporation of knowledge. Open source innovation is not the exclusive preserve of computer nerds, but also has implications for existing software manufacturers. The paper therefore includes the case of IBM, a company which has successfully integrated this new and more open way of collaboration into its business model.

Findings

The paper concludes that online computer‐based innovation fundamentally challenges current ways of communicating, cooperating and coordinating during the innovation and product development process. Moreover, it challenges the traditional business model in that it forces the actors involved to shift the focus from the innovation itself to the identification of new supporting services higher up the value chain. Last, but not least, it blurs the boundary between development and use, since the developer remains the key user.

Research limitations/implications

The paper addresses the implications for future research in the area.

Practical implications

The paper addresses implications for practitioners directly involved in innovation and product development.

Originality/value

This paper develops a conceptual framework for understanding product development based on non‐proprietary knowledge, which cannot be adequately accounted for by traditional corporate innovation theory alone.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 11 no. 1
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

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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

Francesco Caputo, Valentina Cillo, Elena Candelo and Yipeng Liu

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relations among soft skill, information technologies and Big Data for building a possible bridge able to link human and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relations among soft skill, information technologies and Big Data for building a possible bridge able to link human and technology dimensions for increasing firm performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the Business-focused Inventory of Personality , work personality of 4,758 human resources engaged in 72 high-tech European firms has been analyzed and its relations with firms’ investment in Big Data and firms’ economic performance have been tested using the structural equation modeling (SEM).

Findings

The research shows the existence of strong relations between some elements of human resources’ personality such as the work motivation and the social competencies and the firms’ economic performance. At the same time, the research clarifies the mediated effect of firms’ investment in Big Data in the relations between human resources’ organizational behavior and the firms’ economic performance.

Originality/value

The paper extends previous managerial contributions about Big Data management and human resource management providing evidence on which build more effective managerial models in the era of digital transformation.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 57 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article

Jol Stoffers, Karolien Hendrikx, Omar Habets and Beatrice van der Heijden

The purpose of this paper is to investigate possible differences in the degrees of employability, leader–member exchange (LMX) and innovative work behaviours in a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate possible differences in the degrees of employability, leader–member exchange (LMX) and innovative work behaviours in a comparison between Belgium and the Netherlands. Although neighbouring countries, disparate national cultures between the two are assumed to influence the amount of employability, LMX and innovative work behaviours among their respective working populations. Furthermore, this paper aims to validate a mediation model across the two countries to test whether employability (partially) mediates the relationship between LMX and innovative work behaviours.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from employees and their immediate supervisors working in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Belgium and the Netherlands supported the hypothesized model. Structural equation modelling was used to investigate the mediation model using a multi-source approach.

Findings

The amount of employability and innovative work behaviours of employees appeared to differ significantly between Belgium and the Netherlands. Furthermore, the results suggested that for both countries a positive relationship with one’s immediate supervisor (LMX) is beneficial in the light of workers’ innovative work behaviours, through its impact on employability, which was found to be a full mediator in this relationship.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies using a longitudinal approach could give more insight into the model relationships. Moreover, the variation in systems, national contexts and managerial practices in the Euroregion calls for more cross-national comparative scholarly research.

Practical implications

SMEs often do not employ professionals to manage human resources, that is, supervisors themselves have to carry the responsibility to encourage employees to further develop themselves and to enhance their innovative work behaviours. This while the challenge of more cross-national cooperation encourages a boost for innovations in the Euroregion.

Originality/value

This study is the first cross-national validation of a mediation model wherein a competence-based measure of employability is incorporated as a possible mediator in the relationship between LMX and innovative work behaviours.

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