This study examined the role that champions play in the generation and promotion of ideas in the innovation process, and considered the influence of flexible role orientation and contextual knowledge in this process. Content analysis of interview transcripts from 19 matched pairs of champions and nonchampions revealed that flexible role orientation was positively related to idea generation, and contextual knowledge was positively related to packaging ideas for promotion. Idea generation was positively related to promoting ideas through informal and formal channels. Finally, in comparison with nonchampions, champions demonstrated more enthusiastic support for new ideas, tied the innovation to a greater variety of positive organizational outcomes, and used informal selling processes more often during idea promotion.
The Leadership Quarterly – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2004
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