This paper aims to contribute to both innovation management theory and ideation practice in firms, by empirically analyzing what factors influence the “life” of an idea within organizations. As the empirical base for our study, we utilize data from a 48-hour IT-based creative session called "Ideation Jam" within a Swedish multination company. During this session ideas were created, developed, and selected by a large number of employees, something which can be regarded as a live experiment emulating what normally occurs in organizations, though in a much more compressed timeframe. The empirical observations allow us to see how ideas generated by the employees within the organization arise, evolve, and die or are selected over time. In addition, we explore how this process of selection and survival of an idea is influenced by the social networks that are generated around it. The findings indicate that the amount of comments (activity) generated around an idea, and its insertion in the early stages into the "Jam" (time lag), increase the likelihood that it will eventually be considered a novel and valuable idea, and thus is selected for further development and possible realization. In addition, by employing a core-periphery analysis, we find that the social structure in which the idea is embedded has important implications for its survival. Theoretical and managerial implications that can be drawn from our findings, as well as limitations of our study and directions for future research are discussed.

Idea generation and survival in an organizational innovation jam

Fausto Di Vincenzo;Daniele Mascia;
2014

Abstract

This paper aims to contribute to both innovation management theory and ideation practice in firms, by empirically analyzing what factors influence the “life” of an idea within organizations. As the empirical base for our study, we utilize data from a 48-hour IT-based creative session called "Ideation Jam" within a Swedish multination company. During this session ideas were created, developed, and selected by a large number of employees, something which can be regarded as a live experiment emulating what normally occurs in organizations, though in a much more compressed timeframe. The empirical observations allow us to see how ideas generated by the employees within the organization arise, evolve, and die or are selected over time. In addition, we explore how this process of selection and survival of an idea is influenced by the social networks that are generated around it. The findings indicate that the amount of comments (activity) generated around an idea, and its insertion in the early stages into the "Jam" (time lag), increase the likelihood that it will eventually be considered a novel and valuable idea, and thus is selected for further development and possible realization. In addition, by employing a core-periphery analysis, we find that the social structure in which the idea is embedded has important implications for its survival. Theoretical and managerial implications that can be drawn from our findings, as well as limitations of our study and directions for future research are discussed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/721061
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