Title: A framework for managing innovation

Authors: Harvey Dershin

Addresses: Dershin Consulting, 2606 Hartzell St. Evanston, IL, 60201, USA

Abstract: Innovation is of vital interest to companies and countries across the globe and much has been written about techniques to stimulate and manage the process. An extensive literature traces the gradual shift from conceptualising innovation as a linear process to understanding it as systemic or non-linear. Research has shown that companies can capitalise on the systemic view to improve the effectiveness of innovation. And yet, the output of a recent colloquium on the subject reveals that a gap exists with respect to the appropriate role of managers, who are responsible for the organisation and success of innovation. The objective of this paper is to close this gap by broadening the fundamental understanding of innovation and providing practical tools that can be used by those responsible for its management. The approach taken is to cast innovation as a complex adaptive system, in essence an evolutionary process. The general construct of Axelrod and Cohen is then applied to innovation, leading to a clear set of actions that managers can take to advance the process.

Keywords: innovation management; complex adaptive systems; nonlinear processes; systemic processes; effectiveness; managers; evolutionary processes; evolution; Robert Axelrod; Michael Cohen; complexity; business innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2010.035715

International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 2010 Vol.4 No.6, pp.598 - 613

Published online: 03 Oct 2010 *

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