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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2019

Thomas Duening, Nigel Nicholson and Jill Bradley-Geist

Recent criticisms of organizational science theory have lamented a lack of depth and a growing “maturity” that is impeding empirical advances. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

Recent criticisms of organizational science theory have lamented a lack of depth and a growing “maturity” that is impeding empirical advances. The purpose of this paper is to propose that organizational scientists can address this problem by embracing “evolutionary awareness” (EA). EA builds on theories and constructs developed in the evolutionary sciences that serve to add depth to theory building.

Design/methodology/approach

The design of the paper is first to introduce the concept of EA and identify its four key constructs. Next, the authors apply EA to three areas of research within organizational science: human motivation, interpersonal communication and leadership. The authors’ intent is to show that EA constructs extend and deepen traditional organizational science theorizing. Thereby, the authors show that the problems noted above, i.e., lack of depth and maturing theories, can be addressed by embracing EA.

Findings

The findings are that EA substantially enhances and freshens theorizing in the organizational sciences in the areas of human motivation, communication and leadership. By extension, other areas of interest will also benefit by embracing the EA perspective.

Research limitations/implications

The implications of the research are many. Organizational scientists can advance theory building, research and practical prescriptions by embracing EA. They can also engage in interdisciplinary research programs with scholars in the evolutionary sciences eager to see their work having practical implications. The limitation of this work is that the authors were only able to show a limited application of EA to three areas of interest to organizational science scholars.

Practical implications

The practical implications of this research are potentially far reaching. At this very moment, scholars in a wide array of disciplines are re-casting their views of humanity, cognition, values and other constructs based on the acceptance of evolution and its primary mechanism, variation and selection based on consequences. These changes will usher in new ideas about leadership, work-life balance, organizational purpose and many others.

Social implications

A much-needed “consilience” across the human sciences through embracement of the EA perspective may provide insights that will advance human flourishing in organizations and beyond. The authors believe that an increasingly veridical understanding of humanity will produce substantial social impact.

Originality/value

This work will provide an encompassing perspective that will assist organizational scholars in advancing their theory building and research questions. A much-needed “consilience” across the human sciences may provide insights that will advance human flourishing in organizations and beyond.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 June 2018

Thomas Duening

This paper is based on insights from philosophy of science, centered in Gilbert Ryle’s notion of “category mistakes”. A category mistake occurs in a science when scholars have…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is based on insights from philosophy of science, centered in Gilbert Ryle’s notion of “category mistakes”. A category mistake occurs in a science when scholars have been thinking of a phenomenon as of a certain sort, when it is really nothing of the kind. This paper aims to claim that regarding sustained enterprise innovation (SEI) as a strictly operational problem commits such a category mistake. Instead, SEI is an aspirational problem and thus requires scholars to examine it from that perspective as well.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper begins by explicating Ryle’s notion of a category mistake. It develops the suggestion that innovation scholars have made such a mistake by thinking of innovation as a strictly operational problem. In reality, it is as much an aspirational problem. The paper then builds on the metaphor made famous by Isaiah Berlin, distinguishing between hedgehogs and foxes. A hedgehog is a leader who copes with the non-predictive nature of innovation. The paper builds on the findings from positive psychology and virtue epistemology to highlight how humans can act rationally in the face of non-predictive outcomes. Four virtues of hedgehog leadership are proposed and defined.

Findings

The paper concludes that hedgehog leadership is necessary for sustained enterprise innovation. It also concludes that hedgehogs can act rationally in pursuit of non-predictive outcomes by practicing a set of governing virtues.

Research limitations/implications

Further research needs to be conducted to validate the proposed governing virtues, to illuminate the optimal hedgehog/fox balance within the enterprise, and to validate through longitudinal work the impact of hedgehogs on sustained enterprise innovation.

Practical implications

Based on the continuing interest in innovation expressed by enterprise leaders around the world, hedgehogs are in increasing demand. Fortunately, hedgehogs can be made (and self-made) via deliberate practice of the governing virtues. Aspiring and current hedgehogs can be confident that practicing these virtues and becoming increasingly adept at their application will promote and effect enterprise innovation.

Originality/value

Very little research has been conducted on the aspirational aspect of SEI. This is an insidious gap in the literature, as it affects scholars and practitioners alike. Scholars are trapped in the “normal science” paradigm that treats the innovation problem as if it can be solved through operational techniques. This paper contends that this ubiquitous category mistake has led scholars down a blind alley. Instead, it is important for scholars and practitioners alike to view SEI as an aspirational problem that requires vastly different research frameworks and practitioner prescriptions.

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 July 2009

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2018

Paul Berg, Kathryn Cruz, Thomas Duening and Susan Schoenberg

The geosocial divide that separates many rural regions of Alaska continues to present considerable challenges, such as those that have long plagued the Yukon-Kuskokwim region with…

Abstract

The geosocial divide that separates many rural regions of Alaska continues to present considerable challenges, such as those that have long plagued the Yukon-Kuskokwim region with cultural and value conflicts. Lack of empirical data and improper identification of the root causes of the ongoing socio-political, cultural and economic disparities between rural Alaska and the rest of the country contribute to the general misconceptions of the turbulent nature of life on the tundra today. In this isolated region, the state has built dozens of schools that largely employ non-Natives. Teacher certification requirements have largely alienated Alaska Natives from pursuing careers in their home villages due to cost, lack of access, lack of student support and irrelevant curriculum. Despite rigorous standards and extraordinary funding opportunities, the current model has traditionally underperformed against both state and national norms.

This research targets a project that re-conceptualizes the teacher certification pipeline for remote Alaska Native villages via the utilisation of a competency-based bilingual curriculum, mentoring and interactive learning delivered via hybrid and online formats. The Native Teacher Certification Pathway proposed will be significant both in its local impact on unemployed adults and Yupik youth, and globally as a site for innovation in the application, delivery and assessment of evidence-based student support activities and programmes. Leveraging place, identity, language and values make learning incredibly powerful, increases efficacy and creates a true impact. Universities and business programmes that are sensitive to this fact and tailor their programmes appropriately will likely see a greater return on their investment.

Article
Publication date: 11 November 2009

Prasad Boradkar and Thomas Duening

This paper provides an overview of a new new product development (NPD) curriculum developed on the foundation of what is called Integrated Innovation. The Integrated Innovation…

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of a new new product development (NPD) curriculum developed on the foundation of what is called Integrated Innovation. The Integrated Innovation model creates a context of cognitive tension that is resolved by answering several pertinent questions. Cognitive tension is the result of trying to resolve multiple intellectual challenges simultaneously, where each challenge has equal prima facie priority. The curriculum that has been developed on the Integrated Innovation model is designed to help create a new generation of NPD professionals who have an enlarged role within the globally competitive enterprise. This paper provides insight into the Integrated Innovation model and its corresponding curriculum. It includes suggestions for future research and curriculum development.

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

Article
Publication date: 21 December 2012

Thomas Duening, Morgan Shepherd and Andrew Czaplewski

Recent research into effectuation and effectual logic show that entrepreneurs think and make decisions dramatically different than typical enterprise managers. One of the major…

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Abstract

Recent research into effectuation and effectual logic show that entrepreneurs think and make decisions dramatically different than typical enterprise managers. One of the major issues in applying entrepreneurship and innovation to corporations is likely the misunderstanding and failed application of these core concepts to management practices. Thus, those studying intrapreneurship and innovation would find great value from this paper's discussion of effectuation and effectual logic as it explains its major differences between entrepreneurs and typical enterprise manager views as they pertain to: Goal setting, risk taking, resource selection and gathering, dealing with setbacks, building networks, and management control. To dive deeper into these valuable concepts, effectuation and its core principles were applied to the product development process and systems development process. This includes applying them to: Screening of ideas, business analysis, development, product validation, and the market launches phase of product development. This article should help those applying entrepreneurship practices to their organizations and result in more innovative managers and employees, or as the authors term it "enterprise entrepreneurs."

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2018

Abstract

Details

The Disruptive Power of Online Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-326-3

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2002

As a general rule, you should keep the following equation in mind when motivating Einsteins:

Abstract

As a general rule, you should keep the following equation in mind when motivating Einsteins:

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Article
Publication date: 29 July 2009

Praveen Gupta

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

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