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B ARRIERS TO INNOVATION

IN THE PROCESS OF INNOVATION

To be presented at The DRUID Academy's Winter Conference on Innovation, Growth and Industrial Dynamics Aalborg, Denmark January 22- 24, 2004

Andreas W.O. Böhringer* Dr. Indre Maurer University of Augsburg Department of Business Administration Management and Organisation (Prof. Dr. Mark Ebers) Universitätsstraße 16 D – 86159 Augsburg Germany

*corresponding and presenting author: Tel.: ++49 (0)821 598 4166 Fax: ++49 (0)821 598 4228 e-mail: andreas.boehringer@wiwi.uni-augsburg.de

Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation, p. 2

1. Introduction
In many industries, competitive advantage depends on a firm’s ability to foster innovation and turn first ideas into innovative processes or marketable products. 1 Following recent calls for a more detailed analysis of factors fostering and hindering innovation, 2 the aim of our study is to identify barriers to innovation along the innovation process as it evolves from an organization member’s ideas to innovative outcome. The great importance of innovation has lead to a broad range of literature dealing with the wide field of innovation. 3 In the research on creativity, the individual is identified as the source of innovation, sometimes within a group of individuals.4 The literature on intrapreneurship follows the individual through the process of innovation. 5 The identification of the stages in the process of innovation has been the aim of many studies in the literature on innovation. 6 There have also been many attempts to identify and structure the success factors and barriers of individual and organization innovations. 7 Apart from a few exceptions, 8 most studies on the factors fostering and hindering innovation use static concepts. 9 Studies which take a closer look on the location of barriers in the process of innovation are limited to just a small part of this process10 or offer only a very broad concept11 of barriers in the innovation process. Since it is widely accepted that innovation should be understood as a process, it is crucial for both practitioners and researchers to bring together the concepts of innovation-barriers and the dynamic view on innovation. Only this way research and management can address barriers directly and according to specific requirements of the stages in the innovation process. Thus, the two research questions of our study are: 1) Which are the barriers to innovation? 2) Are specific barriers typical for specific stages in the process of innovation? To answer these questions the paper firstly defines the term innovation and identifies innovations stages as well as barriers to innovation. After that, we describe our research design and setting. Finally, we locate the barriers to innovation within specific phases of the innovation process.
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Salaman,G.; Storey, J. (2002) Scott, S.; Bruce, R. (1994); Salaman, G.; Storeys, J. (2002) 3 For overviews see Damanpour, F. (1991); Wolfe, R. (1994) 4 E.g. Amabile, T. M. (1988); Rickards, T. (1985) 5 E.g. Pinchot, G. (1985); Kolchin, M.; Hyclak, T. (1987); Cornwall, J. R., Perlman, B. (1990); Hornsby, J. et.al. (1993) 6 E.g. Zaltman, G. et al. (1973); Schroeder, R. et.al. (1989); King, N. (1992); Wolfe, R. (1994) 7 E.g. Burns, T. J.; Stalker, G. (1994); Dougherty, D.; Hardy, C. (1996); Oldham, G. R.; Cummings, A. (1996) 8 E.g. Zaltman, G. et al. (1973) 9 Kuratko, D. F.; Montagno, R. V. (1989); Amabile, T. M. (1988) 10 E.g. the literature on individual creativity, see above 11 Zaltman, G. et.al. (1973)
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Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation, p. 3

The main contribution of our paper is the assignment of barriers to innovation to distinct stages of the innovation process. Our research shows the importance of studying barriers to innovation in more detail than this is done by most other studies. For the practitioner our results suggest that barriers to innovation can and have to be addressed according to the stage of innovation in which they occur.

2. Theoretical Background
2.1 Levels of innovation and the need for a dynamic view on innovation

We define innovation as a process that implies a change of the status quo. This process covers the emergence of that change until its implementation and use. It aims at a direct or indirect economic success for the relevant organisation and results in products, services, objects and processes that are new to the organisation and its relevant environment. 12 The research models used in the existing literature are as divers as the definitions for innovation. In their meta-theoretical studies, Damanpour 13 and Wolfe 14 present overviews on the research on innovation. McAdam and McClelland have reviewed several creativity processes and show the importance of individual creativity for the generation of innovation. 15 Damanpour examines the different types of innovation and between an initiation- and an implementation phase. Wolfe differentiates between research on implementation, sources of organisational innovation and process approaches on innovation. In our study, we differentiate between the research model to be used, the type of innovation to be studied and the level of analysis. We use a dynamic research model because we assume that different factors have an influence on the different stages of the process of innovation. Some authors have postulated a difference between different types of innovation, an incremental innovation being just a small adaptation of products or processes, while radical innovations are a totally new combination of resources.16 Others have called this evolutionary vs. revolutionary innovations on the level of technology life cycles.17 There

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For definitions of the term innovation see Hauschildt, J. (1993), p. 3f.; for a similar comprehensive discussion see also Kimberly, J. (1981) p. 85f.; Kieser, A., Kubicek, H. (1992) p. 378; Knight, K. (1967), p. 478; Zaltman G. et al. (1973) p. 10; Slappendel, C. (1996) p. 107; King, N. (1992) p. 90 13 Damapour, F. (1991) 14 Wolfe, R. (1994) 15 McAdam, R.; McClelland, J. (2002) 16 Damanpour, F. (1991) p.561 17 Tushman, M; O’Reilly, Ch. (1996)

592 . (1978) p. 560 20 Damanpour. (1989) p. Organisation level 3. (1991) p. M. (2001) p. since an innovation always includes aspects of different types. (1986) p.. p. 29 22 Van de Ven. 578 21 Cardinal. 205f. Concerning the level of innovation four levels of innovation can be identified. 8 Daft. F. 4 can also be found a categorization into process-. social. Individual level Macro level Organisation Group Individual Individual Figure 1: Levels of innovation These different levels are not independent of each other. L. Macro level 2.g.that types of innovation are not highly effective moderators of the determinant-innovation relation“ 20. R.22 We follow this opinion and will not differentiate between different types of innovation. A group of people can not innovate actively if not at least one of the group is an innovative individual.21 Van de Ven also rejects a differentiation between types of innovation. Group level 4. Damanpour finds „. J. F. West. (1991) p. Thom. A. 1.. Cardinal does not find much differences between incremental and radical innovation with regard to uncertainty. 16. 19 In her Meta-theoretical study of determinants and moderators of organisational innovation. N. on the other hand an innovative group might foster innovative behaviour in the individual. (1992) p.and product-innovations. Damanpour... Farr. an important variable.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. They rather depend and build on each other. Most studies focus on one of the identified levels of 18 19 e. 18 Quite similar is the differentiation between administrative and technical innovations.

(1995) p.. but not only during the last years in the search for the understanding of the motives and actions of the innovators within the corporation. (1997) p. but there is also a stream of literature specifically focusing on the group level. B. (2003) 28 West. K. Their focus is on the management of the “innovative corporation”. N. J. M. G. de la Fuente.29 We will call the innovation and its process of emergence and implementation by an individual within the corporation “individual innovation”. (1994) p. 2. R.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. but our point of view shall be from the eyes of the individual innovator.S. M. Deppe. creativity is looked at as being just one of the influencing factors. Brown. (1996) p. R. King. J. M. (1991) p.2 The innovation process in the literature on innovation management After defining the main terms and the focus of the paper we will take a look at the literature existing on the topic of barriers to individual innovation. (1995).g. H. 30 e. Sessing. 113ff. G. Porter. 23 On the Macro level diffusion of innovations. I. Sawyer. 205ff. (1990). innovative regions and nations are studied. (2003) p. (1993). Anderson. managed by the company. (2003) p. J. The focus of this paper is on the process of individual innovation. Griffin. 10ff. (1998). Krause. Gussmann.. More and more companies are asked to support their “intrapreneurs”. through the design of supporting structures and processes25 or on the integration and management of the R&D function26. we will firstly Examples for studies discussing the organisational. 27 The group level is often discussed as part of the organisations structure of innovation. 138 25 Mintzberg. 29 Neugebauer. (1986). Süssmuth-Dyckerhoff. 26 e. A. Scott.. 196ff. the entrepreneur.g. Bruce. M. 5 innovation. 20. (1984) p. p. Van de Ven. 583 24 e. Maurer. R. Woodman. (1995) p. 125ff. J. 95ff. Farr. B.. (1989) p. M. On the one hand there is a broad range of publications on the individual innovator within the Macro-environment. especially in the fields of teamwork. H. (1996) p. describes the way of the innovative idea from individual to organisational creativity and the demarcation of the different levels 23 . Glynn. One example is the literature on individual creativity. 609. (1979) p.. a good overview is given by Slappendel. 28 The individual has been subject to innovation research in two ways. On the other hand the individual has been studied as the source of innovation within the corporation. Strombach... J.. M. M.. (1994).. (1996). Tuschman. groups of organisations. 38ff. 4..g. (1977). Maidique. p. A. Nieto. M. for a recent overview see Nieto.M. group and individual level are: Oldham. Eisenhardt. A successful innovation is expected to pass through different levels of innovation.. without neglecting the transitions and connections with the other levels discussed. Galende and de la Fuente have lately presented a broad overview on studies about internal factors of the corporation determining company innovation. quality management and creativity. N. C. Cummings. C.. (1992) p. L. (1996) p. (1990) p. (1987). 578f.24 Most studies on innovation have been written focusing on the level of the organisation. R. 139 for a recent overview 27 Galende. 44 30 Nyström. Zirger. an innovative product idea becomes an team project and later on a product. Towards this end. Rothwell.. R.

(1994) p. 31 32 Wolfe. 132 . 410 Schroeder.. including the diffusion of these innovations in the macro environment. (1989) p. Matching (problem or opportunity is matched to the innovation) 4.. Implementation (innovation is implemented. They rather found feedback processes and overlaps of single stages of the innovation process. Wolfe has analysed different models of the stages of the innovation process and summarised these into a ten-stage process of innovation. Routinization (innovation becomes organizational routine) 10. Idea conception 2. Confirmation (. they argue.) 8. All of these approaches (and with them the overwhelming majority of the concepts used in literature) are quite similar. Persuasion (sources of support and/or opposition attempt to influence the process) 6. A clear course of an innovation with one stage mandatory following the other could not be found in reality. et al. The concepts of different authors describing the process of innovation do not differ fundamentally. 31 1. Infusion (innovation is applied to its fullest potential) Figure 3 shows processes of innovation as they have been identified by different authors. The most important insight from their study is that stages might overlap and that feedback loops might occur. who have fiercely criticised the kind of models described in figure 3. Adoption decision (decision is made to adopt or to reject the innovation) 7. Appraisal (costs and benefits are appraised) 5. we will analyse the current body of literature on barriers to individual innovation. Secondly. reviewed and confirmed or reversed) 9. p. R.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. While the other authors have analysed the development of single innovation projects. 6 discuss the process of innovation. The differing results of their study stem from the time frame and the extent of innovations studied in the different studies. A quite different approach in describing the process of innovation has been proposed by the authors of the so called „Minnesota Studies“. Awareness (decision making unit becomes aware of innovations existence) 3.. the researchers from the „Minnesota Studies“ have concentrated on the development of larger innovations.32 The stages of their innovation process are also shown in figure 3. R... Also a differentiation between specific stages of the process was found to be impossible.

(1996) p. (1988) p. 39ff.33 Figure 2 shows a model from Amabile which describes the way an individual is handling a problem. T. T. 58 34 Amabile. p. 150: „In considering how innovation happens in an organization. (1996) p.. (1988) p. also: Glynn. 126. to give an overview of different views on that process. Incubation of the idea. T.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. Amabile. (1983) p. in an earlier work on the process of creativity differentiates between Preparation (search for information). it is essential to understand how creativity happens in the individual“¸Rickards. 7 In the presentation of models of the process of innovation from the literature on innovation management. External or internal stimulus Building up and/or reactivating store of relevant information and response algorithms Stage 2: Preparation Search memory and immediate environment to generate response possibility Stage 3: Response Generation Test response posibility against factual knowledge and other criteria Stage 4: Response Validation Success Failure Progress End End Return to 1 Stage 1: Problem or Task Presentation Stage 5: Outcome Figure 2: Model of individual creativity 34 Nyström. 1083. 152ff. (1979) p. T. (1985) p. . 1. H.35 33 There can be no innovation without creativity: „Innovation is the successful implementation of creative ideas within an organization“ (Amabile. M. T. we will also include models of creativity. 78 (simplified) 35 Nyström. Amabile. Illumination (solution) und Verification (verifying the solution against objective criteria).

(1978) p. 85-94 40 see Schroeder. (1994) p.. 195 38 Angle. Van de Ven. (1989) p. R. 666 39 Zaltman. R. (1989) p. 410 Explanation see Daft. 112 37 36 . Relationship with others and infrastructure development Decision Implementation Confirmation Routinization Infusion Wolfe (1994)36 Idea conception37 Angle/Van de Ven (1989)38 Gestation Shock Plans Proliferation Fluid participation and people transition Setback.Summary Readiness for perception Preparation Awareness and stimuliacceptance Awareness Idea generation Internal and Idea Evaluation external search development and decision for information Matching Appraisal Implementation Routine Persuasion and ImplemConfirmation Routinization adaptation (if entation necessary) Persuasion Adoption decision Organisational level: Top Management. R. A. (1973) p. criteria shift Linking old and new adoption or termination Attribution Zaltman et al. et al. H. (1973) 39 Knowledge awareness Formation of attitudes toward the innovation Act of insight: Essential solution is found Critical revision: New relations become understood and worked into context Initial implementation Continuedsustained implementation Usher (1954)40 Perception of the problem: Recognition of partial or incomplete need satisfaction Setting stage: Elements necessary for solution are brought together a composite of different process models by Wolfe. G.

Amabile41 Task presentation: external or internal source Preperation: gather information and resources Idea generation Idea validation Sucess. (1979) p. (1989) p. (1988) p. 43 see Schroeder. T. 112 . 39ff. H. 152 Nyström. et al. failure or progress Nyström42 Rogers (1983)43 Incubation of the idea Preparation: search for information DevelopNeed Research ment idea recognition: application of into useful Problem or need knowledge to form problem Illumination (solution) Commercialis ation Verification against objective criteria Diffusion and adoption of Consequences of innovation innovation Figure 3: Comparison and combination of different descriptions of the process of innovation in the literature on innovation management and creativity 41 42 Amabile. R.

(1985). the intrapreneurship models (which almost always are dynamic process approaches) in addition focus on the stages of implementation of an innovation developed by an individual member of the organisation. A. 48 The intrapreneur is an individual member of an organisation which implements an innovative idea in the organisation49: „The people who do entrepreneurial work within large organizations are called intrapreneurs. Menon (2000) have shown the positive effect of organisational creativity mechanisms to support innovation in addition to the just the creative individual 47 e. E. (1997) p. XV 49 Trasolini. (1994) p. 11ff.. R.3 Intrapreneurship and the process of innovation One of the first to describe the importance of the entrepreneur to the innovation capability of an economy was Schumpeter. 145 (translation by the author) 44 . S..47 Pinchot found a term for this internal entrepreneur: The intrapreneur.“ Schumpeter (1950) p. 27 46 Thuresson. 10 2. (1989) p.. 3. 36.“ 50 While the models of the innovation process described above either develop a broad overview or focus on the generation of an innovation. (1985) p. 174 51 Cornwall. Pryor. Perlman. Mobilizing and Completion. Williams.g. J. 2.. R.. p. B. (1990) p.. Defining a Problem. Perlman. S. 27. Bharadwaj.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. 15 50 Cornwall. G. 175ff. A combination of the resources existent in the organisation and the entrepreneurial spirit and power of an entrepreneur the corporation is expected to lead to innovation success. intrapreneurship. One example of a quite simple model of the intrapreneurial process is proposed by Cornwall/Perlman: 51 1. Haskins. P. (1993) p. 48 Pinchot. 214 (translated) 45 Drucker. G. Kiechl. Coalition Building. A more sophisticated model has been developed by Neugebauer: Transformation by entrepreneurial acitivity Entrepreneurial vision Impulse Idea or suggestion Goal development Coalitionbuilding Teambuilding Goal reached „Selling“ Acceptance no yes Sucess Innovation on markts or within organisation feedback Figure 4: Modell of entrepreneurial activity 52 „We have seen. 44 For Drucker the entrepreneur is the innovator par excellence: „Innovation is the specific instrument of the entrepreneur. often with specific internal programmes 46. (1990) p. B. 4. 52 following Neugebauer. that the function of the entrepreneur is to reform or revolutionize the structures of production. L. J. and the process by which they effect change. Trasolini.. (1987) p. Successor/Dismantling. (1989) p. Shays. J. (1990) p. p.“ 45 Today larger companies try to use this capacity of the entrepreneur to foster innovation within the borders of the company. 48ff. p. 2f.

Support by „product sponsors“) In the concept of intrapreneurship the process of individual innovation does not stop at the point of “selling” the innovative idea to the organization. If the parent company decides not to support the new project any longer.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. 74ff. Teambuilding and coalition seeking (Collecting resources with support from the production unit) 5. but supported by the parent organisation (“venture nurturing”). having problems with finding the chorals in the songbook fast enough) 2. 148ff. Süssmuth-Dyckerhoff. 6ff. „Selling“ to the decision makers (Official allowance to build a product-team. Usually the development of prototypes or managing the test phase of the new idea is part of the intrapreneurial activity and often the intrapreneur even participates in responsible position in the implementation of her project. Block. I. the intrapreneur can become a real entrepreneur. who should. and the establishment of a new business unit are forms of an internal realisation. the founding of a new department. 11 From the often cited intrapreneur story of the developme nt of the „post-it-Note“ several stages of the project can be extracted: 53 1. Testing 4. Problem identification (in this case in a non-job related environment as a member of a church choir. MacMillan. (1991) p. (1993) p. et al (2002) p. p. Nijhof. Idea about a solution (Combination of the problem with the problems of an unsuccessful project at work. A. which integrates innovative projects. after mangement is convinced of the usefullness of the innovation be given the chance to implement her innovation 55 see Bitzer. the process of intrapreneurship can be summarized as shown in figure 5.. (1987) p. Development of a prototype 6.55 The project can either be realised internal or external to the organisation.. The direct integration of the project within the existing structure. 53 54 Fry. A. (1995) p. C. the integration into a specific New Venture division. If the innovative idea does not fit into the core fields of operation there are also forms of external realisation of the project: The project is brought to the market with the intrapreneurial team as entrepreneurs. 33f. . Business Plan development 7.. After discussing important publication on intrapreneurship. M. where a colleague had invented a glue which wouldn’t glue) 3. Z. 54 There exist a number of alternatives for the implementation of an intrapreneurial project. 681 call for a temporary exemption of the innovator.

12 Direct Integration Organisational level Department founding Integration into inovation division New Business Unit VentureNurturing Persuasion of decision makers Entrepreneur Problem recongnition Ideas for solutions Coalition. Since so many studies have been undertaken to understand this process we will in this study assume that we should use the current body of literature for identifying the barriers to innovation. But also the 56 Description without the alternatives of termination in one stage .Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. The processes described above do not differ much. If our research does not find extreme divergence from the current research on the innovation process there is no need to develop a new one.and team-building Tests and prototype Business plan Individual level Figure 5: Ideal process of intrapreneurship 56 In the following we will summarise the discussion of different innovation processes in presenting a process of individual innovation to be used as the basis of our empirical research. also our attempt to assign barriers to specific stages of the process will much more easily fit into the existing literature. p. The research on intrapreneurship adds the transition from an individual innovation to the organisational level in the integration of the stage of “selling” the innovation to the parent organisation and in adding different alternatives of realising the innovative project. the literature on creativity offers a deeper understanding of the very first stages of innovation. The advantage of using different streams of research lays in the different focus each stream takes. While the literature on organisational innovation management gives a general overview. if we build up on the existing research.

92ff. (1990) p. We will not discuss the stages of the process shown.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. (1987) p. Williams. Thuresson. J. 179. the horizontal axis shows the different alternatives of the implementation of the innovation. I. B. . J.. 57 As the summary of this first part of the paper we propose an (ideal) innovation process based on an individuals innovative attempt.. R. Starr. This process is shown in figure 6. MacMillan. 13 importance of establishing coalitions and networks to support the realisation if ones innovative ideas is stressed in the literature on intrapreneurship. Perlman. usually on the organisational level. 38. this has been done above. p. (1994) p. J. On the vertical axis the stages of the process of innovation is shown. Direkt Integration Direct integration Organisational level Integration into Innovationdivision Business Unit VentureNurturing Need/ Problem recognition Internal and external search for information Idea generation (identification of alternatives) Business-Plan and persuasion of decision makers Coalitionand team building Tests and evaluation Decision Individual level Entrepreneur Figure 6: The stages of the process of individual innovation 57 see Cornwall. 83f... Haskins. (1990) p. G.

Gussmann. 14 2. (1991). attributes and behavior of the individual) Problem identification barriers Barriers of social interaction (communication problems. Scott. R.. Glynn. 61 Williams. On the same. individual level. Burns. (1996). interpersonal and extrapersonal barriers. Amabile. F.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. T. 54ff. (2000). Damanpour. p. (1992) p. Given the immense body of literature on individual innovation it is surprising that successful individual innovation is so seldom found in the corporation.S. (1987). One way of differentiating between different kinds of barriers is the place of occurrence: intrapersonal. J. West. (1973) p. Farr. the barriers hindering that process. (1994). but for the very factors which are critical in the process of innovation. T. 58 . B. Woodman.. Bruce.. while missing knowledge of alternatives and goals are defined as barriers of ability. (1988). (1993). Cummings. E. D. In the following we will identify existing concepts of barriers to individual innovation from the literature on innovation management and intrapreneurship. Sawyer. Stalker G. G. Griffin. E. J.4 Barriers to individual innovation in the literature on innovation management Many authors have discussed factors which are believed to support individual innovation and organised ways of supporting individual innovations are applied in many companies. J. p. M. 59 60 Witte.. Amabile. M. T.. (1996). conflict and power) Organisational barriers (coordination problems and responsibility questions) Resource barriers Witte finds two barriers to innovation60: the power of persistence of the status quo fears the change which leads to barriers of will. Dougherty. most of which belong to the organisational level:62 • Finance (especially for smaller firms it is difficult to obtain capital for projects with uncertain outcome) some important studies identifying success factors are e. Mintzberg. (1996). Thus we will follow another way and not just ask for supporting factors58. R.. A. (1996) 59 Röttger. 61f. (1989). (1994).g. (1969) p.. C. Hardy. Röttger identifies five basic barriers (without describing them in detail):59 • • • • • Personal barriers (skills. (1991). M. 62 Freel. Williams discusses three barriers which hinder innovation61: • • • Emotional barriers (fear and prejudice) Cultural barriers (restrictions to interpretation of the world) Perception barriers (the need for change is not accepted) In his concept of barriers to successful product innovations in small firms Freel claims four principal resource constraints. H. R. 5ff. Oldham.

inadequate delegation. recognition and freedom to act. 11 66 Dougherty. (2002) p. D. 1147 67 Zaltman. If restrictions occur innovating individuals are likely to become unmotivated. 262 Leonard-Barton.. 15 • Management and Marketing (poor planning and financial evaluation. M. 67 Leonard-Barton. as is shown in table 1.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. . (1997) p. for example. One exception is the work of Zaltman et al. a change in the occurrence or importance of barriers during the process of innovation is not recognised. In their stage model of innovation they have explicitly allocated the impact of barriers to particular stages of the process of innovation. p. other researchers have focused on just one barrier which they assumed to be the one most important. Perel. D. 85-94 64 63 . discontinuity of management staff. C. Also nondominant disciplines are likely to have a lower status within the organisation which prevents new innovations to gain importance. D.(1973) p. G. insufficient marketing endeavour) Skilled Labour (small firms have problems matching the wages rates. job security and career development opportunities available in larger organisations) External Information (absence of networks) • • In exploring the interaction between core capabilities with the development of new products and processes. 263 65 Perel. 66 All these concepts are static models. lack of functional expertise.65 Another example is the lack of power support to gather and combine resources in the large corporation as a main barrier as discussed by Dougherty and Hardy. In comparison to these studies. (1997) p. These core rigidities are deeply embedded in the organization and therefore are critical in hindering innovation: 63 • • • • Skills and Knowledge: Less strength in non-dominant disciplines (here the organisation might not possess the people with excellent expertise) Technical systems: “Skills and processes captured in software and hardware become easily outdated”64 Management systems: similar to the effects of technical systems Values: empowerment wakes demands of rewards. Hardy. stresses one empediment to successful innovation: the managements lack of courage to take a long term view. (1996) p. et al. Leonard-Barton also discusses the “flip side” of core capabilities: Core rigidities.

p. 2. Initial implementation substage • • • 2. differentiation between the organisational and individual level in identifying possible barriers to innovation. Knowledge-awareness substage Stage specific barrier • • • • Need for stability Coding scheme barrier Possible impact on existing social relationships and personal threat Local pride Highly stratified power structure Division of labor Role expectations Hierarchie and status differentials Physical separation Reward patterns Conflict for resources Passive resistance Feeling of beeing manipulated or sold Personnel changes Loss of control and power because of innovation 2. Continued-sustained implementation substage • • Table 1: Barriers in the stages of the process of innovation 68 Given the importance of innovation management in the management literature it is surprising and unsatisfying that there are very few studies dealing with locating barriers to innovation in the process of innovation..Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. Hyclak.(1973) p. Some authors even assume that the existence of barriers (especially organisational barriers) incite the real intrapreneur to even harder try to realise her innovative ideas.16 . M.69 Nevertheless. (1987) p. The analysis of the literature on intrapreneurship does not reveal explicit concepts of innovation-barriers. 16 Stage in the innovation process Initiation stage 1. Formation of attitudes toward the innovation substage and Decision substage • • • • • • Implementation stage 1.+3. et al. G. Of these few only a minor part is based on empirical research. 68 69 Zaltman.5 Barriers to individual innovation in the literature on intrapreneurship To identify barriers to innovation we will also look for existing research results in the literature on intrapreneurship. it is to question whether it is useful for the organisation to set up barriers to innovation in order to foster intrapreneurship. T. 85-94 Kolchin. We will thus follow the. quite crude.

de. H. B. H.. employees will not innovate. R. Perlman. 40 Cornwall. like organisational support through the availability of resources.D. (1989) p.. p. (1989) p. money. (1990) p. p. B. As in the field of entrepreneuship this literature is full of lists of positive characteristics of the innovating individual. 23 78 Süssmuth-Dyckerhoff. Geneen.g. C. (1985) p. 84 76 Kuratko.5. 71 Antoncic and Hisrich discuss “the inhibiting effect of the excessive use of formal controls”.70 A highly specialised and centralised organisational structure might inhibit coalition building. R. If the intrapreneur has to fear demotion or even suspension. Mackenzie. Sauser. (1982) p. (1986) p. R.. Chambeau. (1984) p. 84 77 Ross. Montagno. almost creating an organisational “superman”. If the corporations planning time frame is short term oriented internal innovation projects might suffer73. Montagno. 72 They also discuss. 46 75 Kuratko. 34 71 70 . J.1 Organisational factors Since the individual intrapreneur is usually not provided with the resources needed to implement her idea.. 219 74 Kanter. that formal controls are needed for project selection. (1987) p.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. 100. F. (1995) p. 100 72 Antoncic.5. 75 With regard to organisational culture Kuratko/Montagno mention „Old thinking patterns“ as being an organisational barrier to intrapreneurship. 59f. a high level of formalisation to obtain resources (e. (1990) p. time. F. D. R. Hisrich.76 Ross lists some factors which describe this term: 77 • • • • Focus on internal power games and micropolitics Focus on short term success Focus on production efficiency instead of product quality and innovation Sticking to the status quo Individual factors 2. Little is therefore to be found about barriers within the individual. D. Perlman. from a broad literature review several success factors. 17 2. W. one reason being the missing support from superiors which focus on short term goals. but conclude. (1987) p. J. 56. 502 73 Schollhammer. point out that without a proper business plan an Cornwall. J. expertise) hinders the innovation process. Since the intrapreneur is the manager of her own innovation project a lack of social and communication skills to build a network of support can be assumed to inhibit the intrapreneurial success. B..78 Hornsby et al.2 The literature on intrapreneuship in detail deals with the characteristics and personality of the intrapreneur. (2001). but do not state these as crucial barriers to intrapreneurship.74 The orientation towards innovation is often shown in incentive systems. .

Perlman. not every innovative idea can and should be supported and implemented. 81 Cornwall... (1993) p. Firstly this is to identify barriers to individual innovation and to deepen the understanding of this barriers. and most importantly. G.. L. this study aims to find out whether the barriers to innovation identified can be allocated to the stages of the innovation process. Naffziger.. Research method The discussion above shows that the barriers to innovation are still to be fully understood. technological fit. (1994) p. Corporations try to deal with this problem in setting up forms of project controlling with fixed milestones where the progress of an innovative projects is to be judged by several experts. who have argued in favour of a empirical “grounded” research process where the existing knowledge should be applied in order to better compare the research results to existing knowledge and to better 79 80 Hornsby. 79 A very interesting aspect in examining barriers to innovation is added by the literature on intrapreneurship: Whereas the literature on innovation management and creativity solely discusses the negative aspects of barriers to innovation.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. J. (1967). (1990) p. B.83 While Glaser does not allow the researcher to bring in any theoretical presumptions (in order to influence the research results as little as possible by own interpretation schemes).. A.82 3. 37. Kuratko. 25 83 Glaser.84 we follow the approach of Strauss/Corbin. H. Given the scarcity of resources in the organisation. 2. 34 Cornwall. H. (1990) p. Y. authors on intrapreneurship do also find “positive” barriers. Montagno. product fit. see also Mintzberg. 584 84 Glaser. B. J. (1996) p. B. Perlman. Secondly. (1992) . Due to the newness of our research question the study takes an exploratory “grounded approach”. D. Wildemann. p. 55 ff. This study tries to fill that gap in analysing barriers to individual innovation within a large international company in the communication industry.“ 81 The strategic fit is to be tested in the categories of 1. 80 The most important criterion to judge the usefulness of an innovation is said to be the strategic “fit” of the project: „Strategic fit is the degree of similarity and synergy between new ventures an organization is considering entering into and its existing business.. (1979) p. R. Cornwall/Perlman therefore recommend the setting of priorities for the support of intrapreneurial projects in the organisation. J. Strauss. B.G. very specific. Given the problem of predicting an innovations outcome in early stages of the innovation project and of future market development it seems difficult to judge whether a barrier to innovation is to be perceived as positive or negative. Most employee suggestion systems have set up such. D. 18 intrapreneur might not be able to find support in implementing her innovative project and in “selling” it to upper management. 55 82 Yasuda. review processes. market fit and 3.

Miles. Only a few have made it to implementation. it was terminated before implementation. 47. Telecommunication companies operate in hypercompetitive environments. therefore.g.. Strauss. Our study includes fourteen processes of individual innovation. As a consequence. Yin. a new business unit or an own venture would have been necessary to implement the innovation project. seemed suitable to capture a variety of innovation processes as well as factors hindering these processes. This was done for each case and interview. In the cases where e. Following „theoretical sampling“ 86 interview partners were not only selected prior to the interviews. From these comparisons hypotheses were derived and. of which some have already been terminated in early phases. Some were added to the sample when identified by other interview partners during the research process. A. p. Then the results of all three steps were compared across all cases and interviews to identify similarities and. Results The first step in the interpretation of the data was to review the stages of the process of innovation as it is understood by existing literature. M. Huberman.. B. All interviews were between 1. M. as a feedback loop. secondly barriers within that process were identified and in a third step these barriers were applied to the stages of the innovation process identified. Data were collected at a German and a US-site of a large telecommunication company. 85 This approach on the one side is open enough to get new insights into the barriers to individual innovation and on the other side allows for the application of the existing knowledge on the process of innovation without the need to “reinvent the wheel” but with the possibility to review the results of earlier studies. 19 deepen this existing knowledge. Most interview partners were selected because they had handed in several ideas into the companies employee suggestion program or had taken part in an intrapreneurship program set up by the company. (1994).. for each case tested. Our research site. (1994) Glaser. J. The main source of data were 21 semi-structured interviews with engineers and members of the middle management.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. During data analysis 87. (1984) 86 85 . R. (1990) p. 87 for the specifics of qualitative data analysis see e. the cases were analysed by using three foci: The first step was to reconstruct the process of innovation for each case. they depend on their members innovative ideas and the successful implementation and commercialisation of these ideas. M. Most of the projects represent quite “small” innovations.g. A. (1967) p. 169ff. Both product and process innovations are included. A. Corbin. how these differences might have to be interpreted. if there were differences. on the selection see also Patton. 4.5 and 2 hours in length and followed the same procedure. All individual innovations studied do fit Strauss.L.

like visiting another production unit. 4. In categorising the barriers to individual innovation found in the interviews there was evidence that the three categories already described above were reasonable to be applied here. 4.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation.1 Barriers to individual innovation The company studied communicates the importance of innovation internally and externally and tries to support individual innovation generation by different innovation programmes. discussions with colleagues from other departments. Usually the innovative solution was a combination of known ideas an processes from different fields. Reasons for the final termination of the processes studies were mostly • Absence of a power promoter in order to use time-.1 Organisational barriers Formalisation Planned as positive barriers formal regulations – like functional specifications and extensive obligations to report – can hinder the development and implementation of new products. barriers within the individual and positive barriers. in our case we found that “information search” and “partner identification” were sometimes performed several times during the innovation process. These categories are: organisational barriers. the interviews revealed several barriers that hindered the development and implementation of new ideas in that company. In analysing the interviews several subcategories occurred and will in the following help to structure the presentation of the results. The company runs a modern employee suggestion program and. human.and financial resources • Termination by upper management by order • Absence of market knowledge and expertise and of a network of expertise to supplement for own weaknesses. 20 into the stage model developed above. Although the company seems to be willing to support the generation and implementation of innovative ideas. The study does not allow for a differentiation of the positive barriers on an individual and organisational level. although not on a permanent basis. Especially external impulses. If the programs to support individual innovation are characterised by . They also proof that stages might be repeated. customers and competitors and international visits and contacts fostered the development of innovative ideas and solutions. p. Reasons for initiating the innovation process were either to find solutions for an existing problem or the attempt to apply an idea to a new field or question which was not identified as a problem before.1. intrapreneurship programmes. knowledge and skills from a private hobby. The cases also show that stages of that process can be overlapping and – at least in part – run parallel.

g. the number and quality of innovations is not part of the managers evaluation. So at this interface the innovation was in danger of dying out. I never thought about that“. Organisational configuration Many of the innovation processes studied here have been detained by inflexible department borders. . where the same products were produced and the same processes were used: „Before you asked. Many innovative ideas fail in early stages of the innovation process because of the lack of support from supervisors. The often named “not invented here” syndrome would prevent the necessary support from other departments. p. Some supervisors would explicitly advise their subordinates not to hand in suggestions for improvement. Reasons for this could be missing entrepreneurial or strategic spirit. but also the daily operative workload or “firefighting”. Individual innovation will only be concerned with ones own workplace and often be prevented in the very first stages of the innovation process or left to chance. Nearly all innovations studied did never cross the “national border”. Personality: The fear of extra work and envy at the success of subordinates were factors named by interview partners and even supervisors.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. 21 intransparent formalism the same problem is likely to occur. An interesting point in all the systems analysed was that the programs were very formalised. so that it was difficult for the individual to consider in her idea all aspects that would affect and be affected by her innovation. So there are no incentives to support innovation. but on the interface from the innovation program to the implementation of the innovative idea in the organisation there were no formal procedures. Some innovation processes have been stopped by short term oriented supervisors (and were later implemented by competitors). These were difficult to cross for individuals to find the partners with the right expertise needed to further develop an innovative idea. because this was believed to interfere with daily business and could be understood as a critique against management. Leadership The interviews show the responsibility of direct supervisors and their style of management for the development of change and innovation. Motivation: Management is measured against the fulfilment of the daily tasks. Also the strong centralisation (nearly all important decisions would be made in the headquarters in Germany) made it difficult to obtain the financial and personnel resources to further develop an new project on the level of the individual business unit. to Germany. Said one interview partner in the USA when asked whether process improvements would be reported e. If there is no possibility for employees to get insights into other departments or to travel to other sites chances that the combination of different insights leads to a innovation are low. These inflexible borders within the organisation made it difficult to overview and understand the whole process of product development and implementation.

the US-American subsidiary tried to gain market share by a price leader strategy. not a first mover” and another one: „We are taking a lot of risk by not making decisions. 88 We found that in the beginning external incentives are not important at all. For our study we found that financial extrinsic motivation does not play an important role and its non-existence is not a barrier to individual innovation. At least such products and complex product and production technologies would be perceived by the individual as being barriers to innovation. M. Process innovations would find more acceptance but only if there was proof that there would be immediate cost savings. Experiences from private life are also difficult to apply since the product is not used by individual households. development and production of the product. p. (2003) p. it even never was the reason to become innovative. But if there is no encouragement and approval for the innovator. Resource needs. Said one interview partner: “We are a follower. et al. a differentiation needs to be made here. The lack of support of innovation programmes and the missing communication even of their existence were identified as innovation barriers by interview partners. 570 f. in the long run the willingness to innovate for the good of the company is likely to disappear. 88 Baer. The reasons for this are to be discussed further down.“ This policy clearly affected the willingness of all members of the organisation to work on long term oriented product innovations.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. 22 Leadership style and communication: A very effective barrier to stop employees motivation to innovation is directly communicating the disapproval of individual innovation: “Suggestions only cost money”. This makes it difficult for the individual employee to oversee the functionality. Corporate strategy An interesting difference between the cases from Germany and those from the US was the impact of different strategies. For some individuals extrinsic motivation played a role in later stages in the process of innovation. For the US this meant that rationalising and cost saving were important. This makes it difficult to develop new ideas for the product. But. but we are not willing to take risk by making a decision and moving forward with it. the time frame for product development and the expertise needed to develop a new product would exceed the capabilities of an individual in the organisation. show differing research results about the usefulness of extrinsic rewards . While in the Germany the company was by far the largest player and followed a differentiation strategy. Products and product technology The company studied mainly produces very complex telecommunication products. Lack of financial incentives never was a barrier. Incentive systems The question whether innovators can be motivated extrinsically or just are intrinsically motivated has been discussed in many studies.

1. because there was no prototype or business plan and no one who would then take the “ownership” of the project. once a partner is found. Intelligence and creativity Although literature often avoids this factor and none of our interview partners mentioned this barrier in her own innovation process. This impedes individual motivation. All in all. Motivation Frustration: The most important barrier in our study stems from negative experiences with the formal innovation programs. employees see the main challenge in inventing innovative solutions or radical new ideas.2 Individual barriers Expertise Seldom a single member of the organisation holds all the expertise necessary to work out and implement an innovative idea. These. Micro-political power games and personal jealousy were also found to hinder partner networking. since it was difficult for “the organisation” to implement the idea. This belief often leads to the termination of the idea. the corporation studied does support innovation through highly formalised programmes but the corporate culture does not reflect a orientation towards innovation. but loose interest as soon as the innovation needs implementation management and creative work is less important. These “inventors” believe that “their job” was done in having the idea and that it should be the task of the organisation to see its potential and implement it. long feedback cycles once an idea or concept was handed into the review process and turned down without sound reasoning. Intrapreneurial spirit: Some individuals have little interest in putting forward their ideas in building coalitions and implementing the ideas themselves. The opposition from superiors towards employee innovation. Barriers concerning expertise are: lacking extensive knowledge about the product. “Group think” within departments deepens the ditches between departments and complicates networking by the individual innovators. the majority of the interviewees had the opinion that not every member of the organisation was capable of finding new combinations and solutions and to become an innovator.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. p. Also. missing business administration expertise to develop a persuading business plan and missing knowledge of market needs and customers demands. . 23 Corporate culture All the organisational factors discussed here affect the organisational culture. 4. often very creative. quite often these partners fear to take part in a project which is not approved as being an official company project. support from superiors and networking.

This innovation was believed not be really useful and was stopped by a “positive” barrier. One positive barrier identified can be the demand. Some interviewees reported that their ideas never made it to implementation. is planned as a positive barrier in many modern employee suggestion systems. Thus positive barriers should not be planned in earlier stages of the process of individual innovation. Also. 24 Job commitment and personality: For some members of the organisation their daily job is just a way to earn money for their real interest which they may live in their spare time. Once the stage of coalition building and team work is reached. but also characteristics of the individual. 4. that the innovator has to hand in a detailed suggestion in case of process innovations or a business plan which shows the fulfilment of profit-. would be in correspondence of some million Euro. The time savings. . the innovator needs leadershipand motivation skills. These barriers were described by many interviewees as useful. sales. Social Skills Inventors are typically creative in generating ideas. this paragraph is to present the barriers which were believed to be useful barriers within the organisation to focus on promising innovations rather than to support any idea. because they didn’t have enough staying power in trying to get partners and other resources or just didn’t want to further push their idea as the first barriers occurred.3 Positive barriers After summarising the barriers to individual innovation which were to be found in the innovation processes studied and which were all found to be capable of terminating useful innovations.and strategic fit criteria in case of product innovations. even more skills are needed. But on the other side for very innovative ideas positive barriers might well by hindering. but quite often lack of communication skills stops some of them when it comes to coalition building to obtain necessary resources and to “selling” the project to management. One example from an employee suggestion system in the company studied was the proposal of one employee to put more holes into the saltcellars in the cafeteria. as she calculated. p. the need to first discuss the idea with the direct superior. These individuals might start a innovation process but end it already in then first stage.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. Reasons for this lack of motivation can be the job itself and organisational factors.1. Since the innovation is often developed in addition to the daily tasks and the risk to fail is quite high. which would save time at the lunch table.

g. 4. In the stages of problem recognition. But if the stages identified are summarised into three main stages. search for information and idea generation the innovator usually works on the innovation on his own. “partner involvement” and “organisational implementation”. a pattern can be shown. It has been shown that most of the barriers discussed have also been content of earlier studies on the success factors of innovation. e. We have beyond that deepened the understanding which of these success factors have to be understood as especially critical because handling these factors does not only support individual innovation. 4. further diffusion on the macro level are not part of this studies and have been neglected in this paper. The description of the barriers found gives a first idea where in the process of innovation these barriers are most likely to occur.and team building and tests and evaluation are tasks that fall into this main stage. but to ignore these factors will likely prevent individual innovation. coalition. 25 The analysis of the barriers identified gave important insights into the critical factors which hinder the successful course of the innovation process. It is to be noticed that it was not possible to assign all barriers. In the next main stage the support of others is needed. In including the different levels of innovation the three stages shall be called “individual invention”. The following paragraph will deal with the assignment of the barriers to innovation to the innovation process developed and verified above. Table 2 just shows the ones where the interviews allow for a clear assignment. Somewhere in the stages of “selling” the innovation to decision makers and decision and organisational implementation the innovation is usually taken over by the organisation and thus moves to the organisational level. .Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation.1 Meta structure of the process of individual innovation The analysis of the barriers shown in table 2 does not allow the conclusion that these barriers can exclusively assigned to specific and single stages of the innovation process.2.2 Stage assignments of the barriers to individual innovation Table 2 gives an overview on where the barriers to individual innovation were identified within the process of innovation. p. Later stages.

refusal of resource allocation Delaying the lack of entrepreneurial spirit. no resource power formalism. criteria communication channels formalism. quality guidelines Decision and organisational implementation Rules about company secrets High submission Functional and regional borders. p. fit. nor resource power Risk adversity.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. inventor not involved in implementation. 26 Need/ Problem recognition Internal and external search for information Idea generation Coalition.and team building Test and evaluation Positive barriers Organisational barriers Formalisation and configuration Superior as filter Business-Plan and persuasion of decision makers Profit. forwarding of refusal of resource allocation suggestions. importance of ones own initiative Complexity Complexity Communicating disapproval of innovation. strong centralisation. lack of entrepreneurial spirit Incentive systems Corporate culture Disqualifikation criteria Intrinsic reinforcement Resistance from other departments Product and technology Complexity . no contact between innovator and decision maker. communication channels. refusal of resource allocation Disqualifikation criteria Department thinking. short term orientation Strategy Leadership aspects Communicating disapproval of innovation Short term orientation Communicating disapproval of innovation. no possibility to hand in suggestions Functional and regional borders. formalism. no Functional resource power barriers.and strat.

Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. professional knowledge Idea generation Coalition. 27 Individual barriers Need/ Problem recognition Knowledge of other areas. p. professional knowledge Awarness Internal and external search for information Knowledge of other areas.and team building Knowledge of other areas Test and evaluation professional knowledge Business-Plan and persuasion of decision makers Business plan Decision and organisational implementation Expertise professional knowledge Intelligence and creativity Motivation Commitment towards job Frustration Frustration Staying power. missing interest in implementation Communicationand social skills Indolence Communication skills Social skills Table 2: Assignment of the barriers to individual innovation to the stages of the process of individual innovation .

the innovation is likely never to be implemented. p.and resource partners to further develop the innovative idea. Across all stages we find that work overload and daily “firefighting” and the leadership behaviour of superiors are important barriers to individual innovation. Here. business units and national subsidiaries and the lack of vertical communication channels to bridge those borders. if there are no forms of coordinating the transition of an innovation from the individual or group level to the “official”. denial of resources by very formalised ruling and leadership style by superiors. here the innovator needs to become the manager of her idea. the most important barriers to individual innovation are the lack of communication. 28 Main stage I: „Individual invention“ On the part of organisational barriers above all there are two relevant factors in this stage of the innovation: Firstly. On the individuals side firstly a lack of creativity and expertise. on the side of the organisation. the communication that individual innovation is unwelcome.and social skills.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. Main stage II: “Partner involvement” Whereas non existent communication channels between departments make it difficult to get insight into other professional areas in the beginning of the innovation process. because they force the innovator to thoroughly develop the idea to a project and not just hand in a crude idea to the organisation. the guideline to develop a sound business plan and the test for a strategic fit are positive barriers. the latter also being influenced by the complexity of products and product. The second organisational barrier is the existence of strict borders between departments. In this main stage submission criteria. Main stage III: “Organisational implementation” Without communication skills or partners equipped with these skills convincing decision makers to allow the innovation to be implemented is impossible. . power. in the stage of partner involvement these department borders make difficult the identification and accessibility of the right professional-.and production technology and secondly frustration about how the organisation handles individual innovation are main barriers. organisational level. which often is revealed in the extensive use of criteria for the submission of suggestions. Also. After the need for creativity in the first main stage of the innovation.

Discussion The goal of this paper was to gain a better understanding of the barriers to individual innovation and to find where in the process of innovation these barriers are most likely to occur. This is consistent with many authors proposal who include individual variables and organisational variables in studying the process of innovation (see above). 5. The results of our study show that there is no need to develop another stage process of individual innovation. the more important organisational factors are. but have included both the individual and the organisational level and have added a dynamic view to the existing literature.g. We have found similar barriers like the authors discussed above. Also. (2000) that individual variables predict idea suggestion while organisational variables predict idea implementation. et al. but calls for a more differentiated and thorough analysis of these barriers. We have shown that an allocation of barriers to specific stages in the process is difficult. 89 e. The results show the relevance of the barriers to individual innovation. the corporation is able to handle these barriers in the innovation process. 29 The analysis shows that at the beginning of the innovation process organisational barriers only play a minor role.90 This does not mean that organisational support should be neglected to foster idea generation in the corporation. We have also discussed to question of “positive” barriers in the innovation process and found them to be helpful only in later stages of the process. We found that organisational barriers are more likely to occur in later stages of the process of individual innovation while they do not play a very important role in the beginning of the process. but it surely shows that excessive support will not necessarily help to generate more useful innovations. the more advanced the process is. creativity and intrapreneurship and has been extended by an empirical examination of 14 individual innovation processes in a large MNC. but the combination of existing research gives a good insight into this process. et al. Zaltman et al. Then. (2002) and Axtell C. the group and the organisation.M. and others (see above) This is consistent with the findings of Clegg. but can be shown rather clearly if the innovation process is described in more general. 90 . Ch. The analysis of the barriers within the process of innovation has been based on the review of the literature from innovation management. The paper shows the importance of the management of the innovation process at the interfaces between the individual. Only if the existence and likeliness of specific barriers is known. p. our study does not contradict the results of earlier publications on barriers within the process of individual innovation89.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. In the early stages individual factors are by far more important. main stages.

The differences between the innovation management in the two subsidiaries also let us suggest that the results of the study can also be applied to other large corporations. there is the possibility that our results might somewhat be biased. this should be done in a quantitative study. but there is still a possibility that interviewing more non-innovating people would have provided us with more barriers. It also shows that there are several barriers the innovating individual has to expect. Since the cooperation between the different national subsidiaries is not that strong in the organisation studied and since the two departments have set up quite different programmes to foster individual innovation we would rather assume that intercultural influence on the process and barriers discussed is low.4). especially in the very first stages of the innovation. maybe like the more personal ones Williams described (see 2. Our study shows that even in large organization individual innovation is possible. We found no differences between two countries which could be interpreted as if culture has no or only little influence on the barriers to individual innovation. but it is the corporations task to understand that each individual in the company can be a source of innovation and that barriers to individual innovation have to removed to use this innovative potential hidden in the organisation. Although we can assume that organisational factors have an influence on individual barriers and that some barriers are not independent on each other. does not allow for a valid analysis of the interdependence between the different factors and barriers found. Not all of these barriers are negative for the organisations innovative power. . These interviews have not brought any new and additional insights into the understanding of the barriers to innovation. Based on the results of this study.Barriers to innovation in the process of innovation. Since we have foremost interviewed employees who have attempted to innovate in some way. But there remains the possibility that corporate culture in our case is stronger than national culture and differences might occur in studying more than one organisation. we can neither propose a model of these interdependencies nor propose a order or priority of the importance of the barriers identified. the guided. We have therefore interviewed two employees who have never handed in a suggestion or another innovative idea. semi-structured interview. 30 The empirical instrument used in this study. p. We have only studied innovation projects in one large corporation. Another limitation of the study might be the transferability of its results.

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