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Title:Innovation in Organizations: The Generation and Implementation of Radical Ideas
Author(s):Baer, Markus
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Oldham, Greg R.
Department / Program:Business Administration
Discipline:Business Administration
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Business Administration, Management
Abstract:The purpose of this dissertation was to provide an in-depth examination of the innovation process in its entirety, specifically, the generation and implementation of radical ideas (i.e., ideas about groundbreaking changes to organizational products, processes, or procedures). Although few would dispute that engaging this process may not only be a function of the social relationships actors maintain but also a function of their individual differences or motivated actions, relatively few attempts have been undertaken to examine whether and exactly how both combine to jointly shape the production and implementation of ideas. I expected employees to be most likely to generate radical ideas when their "idea networks" were of moderate size or strength and when two other conditions were present: (1) their idea networks were diverse in terms of departmental/organizational affiliation or educational background and (2) actors were highly open to experience allowing them to effectively integrate new information from their idea networks. The extent to which the radical ideas generated by the employee were actually implemented in the organization was expected to be affected by two conditions: (1) the strength or status of actors' "buy-in" networks and (2) their motivation to move an idea forward to realization. These arguments were tested in a sample of 216 employees and their supervisors from multiple divisions of a large global agricultural processing firm. As hypothesized, actors were more likely to generate radical ideas when they not only maintained a sustainable number of idea network ties that linked them to players in different domains allowing for access to a wider range of different perspectives and approaches, but when they also scored high on the openness to personality dimension allowing for the effective integration of these perspectives and approaches. Results also indicated that actors were more likely to successfully move their radical ideas toward realization when they not only were able to mobilize political advocacy via their strong buy-in ties in but also when they perceived that such potentially risk-laden actions were associated with a number of positive outcomes and few negative outcomes. The theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.
Issue Date:2007
Description:117 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3269835
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2007

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