Innovation Management Practices are Important drivers for Innovation Performance
Recently, I read the research article “The Impact of Strategic Innovation Management Practices on Firm Innovation Management”. The article is written by Faruk Kalay and Gary S. Lynn, in “Research Journal of Business and Management”. You may download the article in its full length here.
It’s a great read, and very thorough. For the detail-oriented there are lots of statistics, and many references to previous research in this area. As such, the article is a gold mine, with a good summary of the field.
If you are not a statistics ninja, this post will give you an overview the main conclusions from the work.
If you want to explore innovation metrics more, you will probably enjoy to read about how National Innovation Indexes are used to measure to describe and compare innovation performance between countries and regions.
Five Strategic Innovation Management Practices Examined
Malay and Lynn studied 66 Turkish manufacturing companies, by sending out questionnaires to 132 managers/employees (two from each company). Five Strategic Innovation Management (SIM) practices were investigated:
- Innovation Strategy (IS)
- Organisational Structure (OS)
- Innovation Culture (IC)
- Technological Capability (TC)
- Customer and Supplier Relationships (CSR)
The five hypotheses tested were whether or not the above 5 areas are positively related to innovation performance.
Five Innovation Performance Elements
Firm Innovation Performance (FIM) has been defined in the following 5 terms:
- Our firm is perceived by our customers more innovative than our competitors.
- Our firm is more effective than our competitors at capturing ideas and convert them into new products
- Our firm is better than our competitors at developing new products to meet customers’ needs
- The duration it takes between the conception of an innovation and its introduction into the market place by our firm is better than the industry average
- Our firm is better in terms of the number of innovations (new products) than our competitors over the last 2 years
Strategy, Structure, and Culture – YES
Innovation Strategy, Organisational Structure and Innovation Culture are ALL Important for Innovation Performance
Technology and Customer/Supplier Relationships – NO
Technological Capability and Customer and Supplier Relationships are NOT Important for Innovation Performance
Below, I have summarised the conclusions in more detail. Press on the diagram to enlarge :-)
Some Management Practises are better Understood than Others
It is noteworthy that the SIM practices that are most thoroughly specified are Innovation Strategy, Technological Capability, and Organisational Structure. Maybe this is an indication of what’s measured gets done. For example, have a look at this infographic from HBR, which lists 81 strategy models, developed over the past 50+ years:
The research knowledge is unevenly distributed between the five SIM practices. Consequently, managers and employees will have more experience with working with some of the SIM practices than others.
Also, I would argue that e.g. the knowledge about innovation culture is less tangible than the knowledge about technology management, and thus more difficult to assess and implement.
This is How We Can Help You
Based on the conclusions from this study, we can indeed help you to leverage your innovation management efforts, and get your innovation projects to deliver more results:
- We can work with you to create a strong, visual, and tangible Innovation Strategy.
- Read about our project with Knud E. Hansen here.
- We can benchmark your organisational setup through the IMS Checklist, which you may download in our Methods & Tools section.
- We can revitalise the way you run innovation projects through a FORTH Innovation Project.
- We can design and facilitate an Innovation Culture Project with you. Read about our project with Roche Innovation Center Copenhagen here.
- We can play the innovation board game INNOCULTURE with you.
How do YOU ensure that you get enough out of your Innovation Management Efforts?
Please submit your comments below, we would love to hear from you.