cental problems in the management of innovation

Andrew H. Van de Ven is a Professor of Organizational Innovation in the Carlson School of
Management of the University of Minnesota.
discussing about how innovation plays an important role in social and economic
development. It also discuss about what managerial problems any idea faces before turning
into an innovation.
He has discussed four central problems in the management of innovation as
The human problem of managing attentionIt talks about about physiological limits on humans, group limitations, and literature on
ways of managing attention.
The process problem is managing ideas into good currencyIt says basic concept or an idea of innovation may be an individual activity but
implementing that idea/ innovation is a collective achievement of pushing those ideas
into good currency.
The structural problem of managing part-whole relationshipIt says that great innovations happens because of the variety of ideas and for that
matter multiple functions, resources and disciplines are needed to transform innovative
idea into reality.
The strategic problem of institutional leadershipIt is about the strategic problem of creating a leadership that is helpful for an innovation
and how an organization can become committed to seeing that innovation under that
 An innovation is a new idea, which may be a recombination of old ideas.
 Successful innovation enquires both technical innovations ( new technologies, producs and
services) and administrative innovations (new procedures, policies and organizational
 Learning to understand the close connection bet technical and administrative innovations
is part of innovation management.
 It is said that an innovative idea without a champion gets nowhere.
 People try to contribute to the process of innovation as per their backgrounds, experiences
and activities that occupy their attention.
 People become attached to ideas over a time.
 Project management and program planning technologies like PERT, CPM and PPM can
help in managing innovation process to avoid individual and organizational problems.
 Management of attention- people have basic physiological limitations of not being able to
handle complexity , of adapting to gradually changing conditions.
Physiological limitations of human beings Most people have very short span of attention. Average person can retain raw data in short
term memory for only a few seconds.
 Dissatisfaction with existing conditions stimulates people to search for improved conditions,
and they will cease searching when a satisfactory result is found.
 People unconsciously adapt to slowly changing environments.
Group and organizational limitations-
 In the group or an organization the problems of individual’s inertia, behavior and
incompatibility preferences are added to the limitations of human beings in managing
 Group plays strong pressure of working together on the individual members.
Innovation is an intra- and extra organizational network building effort that revolves around the
creation, adoption, and sustained implementation of a set of ideas among people who, through
transactions , become fully committed to these ideas to transform them into a regular practice or
implemented reality.
From a managerial perspective, Innovation can be answered by understanding 3 basic questions
1. How do innovations develop over time?
2. What problems are encountered?
3. What responses are appropriate in managing these e problems ?
3. Partwhole
1.To develop
2. Managing
Lodahl and mitchell point of view for innovation is : It is a
phenomena of institutional success to a certain degree that exhibits
three basic charateristics,
• AUTHENTICITY : To embody an organization’s idea
• FUNCTIONALITY : To work in line with the purpose
• FLEXIBLITY : To incorporate inputs/ suggestions from its members
The process of innovation involving the building up of intra- & extraorganizational networks leads to a critical point of creating institutional
In an organization, Institutional leadership is of prime importance for
building a cultural belt which help foster innovation.
It’s the measure of reflection of the amount of support an organization
can draw from its members/community to pursue an IDEA, also creating a
social, economic and political setup needed for a community to sustain
it’s members.
•Institutional leadership is needed for an organizational innovation
during the key period of development and transition, in situations
when an organization is forced or open to consider alternative ways
of doing things.
•It defines the “character of culture” of an organization.
•This responsibility is carried out through four key functions :
1. Defining the institution’s mission
2. Embodying purpose into the organization’s structure and system.
3. Defending the institution’s integrity.
4. Ordering internal conflict.
Creation, Elaboration
of Ideology
Use of personal
network; selection
based on values
Face-to-face contact,
sharing, rituals
Charismatic, mythic
Ideals paramount:
Structure tentative
Statement of
organizational goals
Broad search : Use of
universalistic criteria
Rules & procedures
learned from colleagues
Problem solving/
consensus making
Early routinization/
uncertainty reduction
"Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things."
— Theodore Levitt
Thank you….

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