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What makes an “innovation champion”?

What makes an “innovation champion”? Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how an “innovation champion” identity is formulated in the context of UK construction sector. A conceptual model of “innovation champion” themes is derived from the literature on social identity and then validated through empirical research. Design/methodology/approach – In total, 30 semi-structured interviews have been conducted with UK construction sector practitioners. The sample was composed active participants within the Constructing Excellence – the UK construction sector’s network-type organisation for driving innovation. Findings – Practitioners socially constructed “innovation champion” identities through narratives about “self” or others. While some practitioners saw themselves as “innovation champions”, many others recognised CEOs as such. “Innovation champions” are commonly recognised as key individuals who promote innovations across businesses. Practical implications – Socially constructed identities are seen important to strategic decisions and future actions. The potential contribution to practice is to help current and new generations of practitioners to learn about how to be or become “innovation champions”. Social implications – The concept of social identity presents opportunities to enrich our understanding of the “innovation champion” label can stimulate people’s reflections on who they are and what they do. Originality/value – The present paper has extended upon prior research and theory by exploring the ways practitioners perceive themselves or others as “innovation champions”. While this research has focused on the UK construction sector, the findings are potentially useful for other sectors where “innovation champion” labels are commonly used. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Innovation Management Emerald Publishing

What makes an “innovation champion”?

European Journal of Innovation Management , Volume 19 (1): 18 – Jan 11, 2016

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1460-1060
DOI
10.1108/EJIM-06-2014-0065
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how an “innovation champion” identity is formulated in the context of UK construction sector. A conceptual model of “innovation champion” themes is derived from the literature on social identity and then validated through empirical research. Design/methodology/approach – In total, 30 semi-structured interviews have been conducted with UK construction sector practitioners. The sample was composed active participants within the Constructing Excellence – the UK construction sector’s network-type organisation for driving innovation. Findings – Practitioners socially constructed “innovation champion” identities through narratives about “self” or others. While some practitioners saw themselves as “innovation champions”, many others recognised CEOs as such. “Innovation champions” are commonly recognised as key individuals who promote innovations across businesses. Practical implications – Socially constructed identities are seen important to strategic decisions and future actions. The potential contribution to practice is to help current and new generations of practitioners to learn about how to be or become “innovation champions”. Social implications – The concept of social identity presents opportunities to enrich our understanding of the “innovation champion” label can stimulate people’s reflections on who they are and what they do. Originality/value – The present paper has extended upon prior research and theory by exploring the ways practitioners perceive themselves or others as “innovation champions”. While this research has focused on the UK construction sector, the findings are potentially useful for other sectors where “innovation champion” labels are commonly used.

Journal

European Journal of Innovation ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 11, 2016

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