Bridging the creativity – innovation divide: an investigation of R&D professionals’ experiences from India
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The present study presents a qualitative study of the process through which creative ideas are converted into new products. Based on a grounded-theoretic investigation of 52 interviews conducted with scientists working in 5 Indian R&D laboratories, the study explores the socio-psychological factors that affect the creativity-innovation conversion process. Our results demonstrate that the critical innovative work behavior that impacts the conversion process is mobilizing support behavior that is defined as promoting ideas to others and garnering support and resources for their implementation. While ideas can occur at the individual (or group) level, unless the individual (or group) mobilizes support for the ideas, the chances for their successful implementation are minimal. The study next explores the individual-, team- and organization-level factors that influence the creativity-innovation process either directly or indirectly (by promoting mobilizing support behavior). The study reveals that for innovation to occur, creativity needs to be backed up by other factors like leadership, team work, organizational factors, fairness and acquisition of resources. It is this interlinking of factors that leads to innovative output. We present a conceptual framework that describes in what ways these factors are linked to each other. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
- Working Papers