Understanding idea advancement efforts in innovation through proactive behavior

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Factories | A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Volume 15, Issue 2
Purpose– Innovations lie at the heart of both entrepreneurship and marketing. While research has long focused on the idea generation phase at the beginning of the innovation process, ideas need to subsequently be realized through efforts in idea development and implementation. This paper aims to study the antecedents and practices of idea advancement behavior. Design/methodology/approach– Seven product developers of an international company were interviewed in-depth based on a critical incident technique. Findings– Idea advancement behavior was found to be distributed in time and between people, pervasive in the development process. Antecedents for efforts were identified at personal, interpersonal and work organization levels. Although personal antecedents were most numerous, interpersonal and work organization antecedents distinguished successful and unsuccessful efforts. Key idea advancement behaviors were centered on the inclusion of others and communication channel choices. Research limitations/implications– The current study offers a complementary micro-level point-of-view to championship literature, illustrating the situated and dispersed nature of everyday advancement efforts as opposed to the dominant depictions of heroic relentless championing individuals. However, as the study was conducted in a single company, the findings still need to be validated in more varied settings. Practical implications– The results highlight the need for supporting idea advancement behavior across organizational levels and function, instead of focusing on identifying individual champions. Time management, supporting switches in the driving force, and communicating value are necessary for sustaining advancement efforts. Originality/value– Idea advancement practices have been largely ignored in previous innovation literature, with the exception of systematic processes and championing. This paper explores idea advancement as a commonplace proactive behavior, revealing several levels of key antecedents for successfully advancing ideas into innovations.
Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Creativity, Product Design
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Bjorklund, Tua & Bhatli, Dhruv & Laakso, Miko. 2013. Understanding idea advancement efforts in innovation through proactive behavior. Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Volume 15, Issue 2. 124-142. ISSN 1471-5201 (printed). DOI: 10.1108/jrme-01-2013-0001.