One of our 2016 best theses was on understanding the motivators of frontline employee innovation by Mohamed Bhorat

By: Bhorat, Mohamed Firoze

Source: http://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/59871

Abstract:

Innovation is widely seen as one of the cornerstones of organisational success and sustainability in an environment characterised by intense competition. The frontline employee is increasingly being seen as a critical component in an organisation’s innovation effort, due to their close proximity to and frequent engagement with the customer. Yet there is a lack of insight into what motivates frontline employees to be innovative. The purpose of this research is to gain insight into the specific motivators that influence the propensity of frontline employees to innovate. This research took the form of a descriptive study using a quantitative methodology, collecting data from 264 respondents through an online survey tool and an existing measurement instrument found in literature. A non probability sampling technique was used at a particular South African bank to obtain the sample. Research questions were formulated around, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and employee engagement factors and extended into determining which specific type of extrinsic and intrinsic motivators were effective in driving frontline employee innovation. A regression analysis revealed that intrinsic motivation was the only construct that was deemed to be statistically significant in predicting frontline employee innovation. However the “financial rewards” attribute, which corresponds to the extrinsic motivation construct, was found to be a statistically significant predictor of frontline employee innovation, albeit an inverse relationship. The findings suggest that frontline employees place more emphasis on their psychological needs being met in order for them to be innovative and that money is not necessarily a good motivator. In fact money as a motivator is seen as controlling and coercive and diminishes an employee’s sense of self determination and therefore may be detrimental to the motivation of frontline employee innovation. Academically, this study contributes to the insights on motivating frontline employees, with an emphasis on driving innovation. These insights may be used in business to inform motivational tactics that leads to a continued propensity to innovate amongst frontline employees, thus ensuring the overall success and sustainability of the organisation.

One of our best 2016 theses was on corporate innovation, risk management and internal governance by Bhima, Premal

Exploring the interplay between corporate innovation, risk management and internal governance

By: Bhima, Premal

Source: http://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/59860

Abstract:

Business leaders no longer question whether it is necessary to innovate but rather, which activities to pursue. While innovation is an imperative for organisations, it is inextricably linked to risk-taking and is compounded by high levels of innovation failure rates. Therefore, there is a clear requirement to understand the interplay that risk management and governance have in shaping the design of the innovation process. The aim of this research is to explore the relationship between corporate innovation management, internal governance and risk management, and to understand the dynamics between these constructs. The intention is that this contributes to the effectiveness of organisations when undertaking innovation activities by using adequate risk management and governance controls. An exploratory research method was adopted based on an inductive reasoning approach to gain insight into this interplay. Thirteen semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with senior experts across six industries. The respondents had high levels of seniority, ranging from C-suite executives, managing directors and other executives, to senior managers. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. A conceptual integrated innovation management model was carefully formulated based on the findings to embed risk management and governance within the iterative innovation process, which is influenced by the contextual attributes. The results found that risk management and governance remain key tools to manage innovation and become more significant as the innovation evolves. This research will assist organisations in managing innovation uncertainty using adequate risk management and governance controls for improved sustainability.

You need an innovation strategy (Harvard Business Review)

Original article by Gary Pisano from the June 2015 issue of the Harvard Business Review

Synopsis:

“Despite massive investments of management time and money, innovation remains a frustrating pursuit in many companies. Innovation initiatives frequently fail, and successful innovators have a hard time sustaining their performance—as Polaroid, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo, Hewlett-Packard, and countless others have found. Why is it so hard to build and maintain the capacity to innovate? The reasons go much deeper than the commonly cited cause: a failure to execute. The problem with innovation improvement efforts is rooted in the lack of an innovation strategy. …

Without an innovation strategy, innovation improvement efforts can easily become a grab bag of much-touted best practices: dividing R&D into decentralized autonomous teams, spawning internal entrepreneurial ventures, setting up corporate venture-capital arms, pursuing external alliances, embracing open innovation and crowdsourcing, collaborating with customers, and implementing rapid prototyping…. The problem is that an organization’s capacity for innovation stems from an innovation system: a coherent set of interdependent processes and structures that dictates how the company searches for novel problems and solutions, synthesizes ideas into a business concept and product designs, and selects which projects get funded.”

To read the full article, click here

Horizon 2020: CEN and CENELEC offer advice on how to link research and innovation projects with relevant standardization activities

Brussels, 13 December 2013 – The European Standardization Committees CEN and CENELEC are actively looking for opportunities to establish links between European research and innovation projects and relevant standardization activities.

GIBS Information Centre / GIBSIC‘s insight:

research and innovation EU  – In the first wave of calls under Horizon 2020, the European Commission focuses on 12 priority areas: Personalising health and care, Sustainable food security, Blue growth, Digital security, Smart cities and communities, Low-carbon energy, Energy efficiency, Mobility, Waste, Water, ‘Overcoming the crisis’ and Disaster-resilience. CEN and CENELEC are currently working on standardization topics that are relevant to all of these areas.

See on pr.euractiv.com

Pursue Innovation, Reject Novelty – (Articles on GIBS campus July)

Companies need some structure for developing innovative supply chain ideas, not just implementing them.

GIBS Information Centre / GIBSIC‘s insight:

curated to GIBS Bog Blog, July –

 

“PwC suggests that companies follow some of these steps as a way to draw a line in the sand and separate out innovation from novelty. Though not supply chain-specific, they certainly apply and are probably already implemented to some degree among thought leaders.

  • Become systematic about innovation. Companies considered to be the most effective innovators have developed structures that allow employees to think like entrepreneurs, empowering them to think about problem-solutions scenarios that address their everyday concerns. Also, they have strong leadership that provides centralized support.
  • Think about the long haul. To vet out innovative ideas from novel ones, and to have a continuous stream of innovative ideas to pull from, innovative companies establish a pipeline where both incremental ideas and long-term big bets are frequently percolating.
  • Embrace digital. PwC notes the many forms of innovation have resulted from the digitalization of operational models. The firm suggests companies define what more complete digitalization could mean for the business and examine whether the company is taking full advantage of existing digital tools.”

 

See on www.ebnonline.com

Inclusive business initiatives: Scaling innovation for an emerging middle class

See on Scoop.itBusiness education @GIBS

Efforts to create innovations that can meet both social and business goals in low-income markets are fraught with unanticipated dangers. A study of 18 initiatives from around the world reveals how ventures can succeed where others have failed.

ChezINFO!‘s insight:

Ackn. Accenture – ". .. 

"Rethink the business model to build scale faster.

Because a for-profit organization may be able to achieve scale faster than a nonprofit initiative—it will certainly have the incentive to do so—IBI leaders may want to rethink their NGO relationships. Changing the ownership model is one way of doing so.

Africa-based Esoko shows how this can be done. Initially established as Tradenet in 2005, the company offered an SMS-based service to gather and disseminate agricultural data to customers such as individual farmers, researchers and traders in Africa."

See on www.accenture.com

Higher Education Research Citation Impacts innovation and wealth creation

See on Scoop.itGIBSIccURATION

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Korea—the BRICK nations—have repeatedly been noted for their growing influence in the global economy and research landscape, and are often referred to as “emerging.” What would move them from emerging to established?

To capture a better understanding of their progress, we reviewed data on R&D spending, human capital, research publications, and patent filings—key indicators of the sustained, diversified research innovation base enjoyed by many of the G7 knowledge economies. The data not only confirm and quantify the rising status of countries beyond the G7 axis as a group, but also spotlight the individual complexities that offer a richer tapestry behind the “emerging” label.

For the analysis, this report draws on data from Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge, Derwent World Patent Index, and third-party data, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Red de Indicadores de Ciencia y Tecnología (RICYT), and the World Bank.

 

The authors: “Investment in higher education and research builds up a country’s knowledge capacity, its ability to use discovery and innovation to create economic wealth, and its potential to realize benefits in health, culture and the quality of life. The increases in output that reflect the growing level of investment will not immediately be translated into world-class research because, as we noted, it will take time to train a new generation of researchers. It will also take time to draw the quality of the new research to the attention of the rest of the world.

That said, we can already begin to see strong signals of improving research impact among the five BRICK countries (as seen in Figure). In order to get a handle on research ‘excellence,’ we have used the frequency with which publications are cited by later works as an index of their impact on the rest of the research community. Citation rates vary by field and citation counts grow by year, so the actual citation count is adjusted (or normalized) for both discipline and year of publication as a ratio on the appropriate world average in the same Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge data, to give a Relative Citation
Impact index (where world average = 1.00).”

 

 

source:

Building BRICKSFebruary 2013Global Research Reportby Jonathan Adams, David Pendlebury, Bob StembridgeScience Watch, Thomson Reuters

 

 

 

ChezINFO!‘s insight:

And S. Korea?  Ack. the authors – " Investment in higher education and research builds up a country’s knowledge capacity, its ability to use discovery and innovation to create economic wealth, and its potential to realize benefits in health, culture and the quality of life. The increases in output that reflect the growing level of investment will not immediately be translated into world-class research because, as we noted, it will take time to train a new generation of researchers. It will also take time to draw the quality of the new research to the attention of the rest of the world. That said, we can already begin to see strong signals of improving research impact among the five BRICK countries (as seen in Figure). In order to get a handle on research ‘excellence,’ we have used the frequency with which publications are cited by later works as an index of their impact on the rest of the research community."

See on sciencewatch.com