Lessons in Innovation from the Digital Marketplace

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Journal Article
Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 2017, pp. 1 - 15 (15)
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Purpose – This paper addresses issues of commercial success and the key attributes underlying innovative organisations in the modern age. Its objectives are to better understand enabling characteristics and prevailing values of firms regarded as innovative by others. In particular, to what degree does innovation realisation contribute to organisational success; how do peer firms in digital sectors regard each other in regard to innovation delivery; and what criteria are most recognised as provisioning innovative outcomes? Methodology/approach – In 2013/2014 a survey into innovation within information-dependent firms was conducted in conjunction with the Information Industry Association of Australia (AIIA). The survey was both quantitative and qualitative in nature, examining factors deemed important to delivering corporate innovation when viewed by external organisations comparing achievements. Statistical analysis was undertaken upon 244 responses from 102 organisations to better understand key attributes, assessed by peers, contributing to firms being judged more/less innovative. Findings – Our starting hypothesis was that higher the innovation rating perceived for an organisation then greater the degree of commercial growth also associated with it. The research outcomes support this. Additional findings show that there is a non-causal link between innovation and organisation size; that very successful firms prioritise development of strategic innovation above short-term revenue generation; and that in regard to marketplace rivals, less innovative organisations present lower scores specifically in the areas of building a distinctive internal culture, willingness to take risks and experimentation with new ideas. Originality/value – While much has been written on internal prerequisites for innovation, comparatively less is available regarding outside perceptions of innovation as a source of value and competitive success. What our study shows, is that the two together – balancing the internal reality of innovation with the external perception for innovation - can lead to significant improvements in commercial performance and sector leadership.
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