A dialectic perspective on innovation: Conflicting demands, multiple pathways, and ambidexterity
Innovation, the development and intentional introduction of new and useful ideas by individuals, teams, and organizations, lies at the heart of human adaptation. Decades of research in different disciplines and at different organizational levels have produced a wealth of knowledge about how innovation emerges and the factors that facilitate and inhibit innovation. We propose that this knowledge needs integration. In an initial step toward this goal, we apply a dialectic perspective on innovation to overcome limitations of dichotomous reasoning and to gain a more valid account of innovation. We point out that individuals, teams, and organizations need to self-regulate and manage conflicting demands of innovation and that multiple pathways can lead to idea generation and innovation. By scrutinizing the current use of the concept of organizational ambidexterity and extending it to individuals and teams, we develop a framework to help guide and facilitate future research and practice. Readers expecting specific and universal prescriptions of how to innovate will be disappointed as current research does not allow such inferences. Rather, we think innovation research should focus on developing and testing principles of innovation management in addition to developing decision aids for organizational practice. To this end, we put forward key propositions and action principles of innovation management.
Organizational Behavior and Theory | Psychology
Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources
Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice
BLEDOW, Ronald Joachim; Frese, M.; Erez, M.; Anderson, N.; and Farr, J..
A dialectic perspective on innovation: Conflicting demands, multiple pathways, and ambidexterity. (2009). Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice. 2, (3), 305-337. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/3649