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Learning to manage innovation: simple and complex solutions to the problem of improving innovation performance

Author: Christiansen, J. A INSEAD Area: Economics and Political Science Series: Working Paper ; 96/32/SM Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 1996.Language: EnglishDescription: 41 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: The paper analyses methods general managers used to improve innovation performance in four divisions of a diversified European firm. The managers tried simple interventions, like budget increases, before progressing to more complex interventions, like changes in project management system and organizational reforms. Periods of "learning" preceded more complex interventions. Managers used inductive methods to identify components of the problem and to devise solutions to problem components. Their ability to improve the system's performance increased as their understanding of the system increased. Implications for innovation management and for the theory of organizational decision making are discussed
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The paper analyses methods general managers used to improve innovation performance in four divisions of a diversified European firm. The managers tried simple interventions, like budget increases, before progressing to more complex interventions, like changes in project management system and organizational reforms. Periods of "learning" preceded more complex interventions. Managers used inductive methods to identify components of the problem and to devise solutions to problem components. Their ability to improve the system's performance increased as their understanding of the system increased. Implications for innovation management and for the theory of organizational decision making are discussed

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