The Socio-Political Antecedents of Technical Innovation

International Society for Professional Innovation Management
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
2016, pp. 1 - 10
Issue Date:
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The paper reports on a management initiative within an iconic global high-tech company to facilitate technical innovation within two teams (situated in different global locations of the company) that had been unable to produce any form of technical innovation over a period of several years. Experimenting with an action research strategy, this initiative had the practical goal of generating technical innovation and the research goal of gaining insight into the social dynamics that may facilitate such innovation. The two-year process delivered novel insights into the circumstances that enabled these teams to deliver four company-lauded technical innovations. The principal finding of the research - that social innovation is an antecedent of technical innovation – highlights the importance of alternative research methodologies (to that of the dominant research approach involved in R&D facilities) in addressing the politics of innovation within large organisations.
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