MIS40910 – Skills for Business Enquiry – Preliminary Research Question

Title:

Which contextual, behavioural & social factors are responsible for making an innovation technically efficient or inefficient?

Overview:

While reading the Abrahamson’s article on ‘Managerial fads and fashions: The diffusion and rejection of innovations‘, a doubt came to our mind in that while he uses “Outside Influences” & “Imitation-Focus” dimensions to explain various perspectives on diffusion & rejection of technically efficient innovations, the underlying assumption that an innovation is indeed “technically efficient” puts the whole research on shaky grounds.

We would like to explore this conundrum of what makes an innovation technically efficient and beneficial for an organisation or a group of organisations. To answer this question we would like to dig deeper into various contextual, behavioural & social factors that might determine the technical efficiency of an innovation.

We would also like to explore if Pfeffer & Sutton’s ‘Evidence-based management’ can be used to formulate a generic framework to measure the technical efficiency of an innovation. We believe that such a measure can help an organisation make an informed decision in adopting technically efficient innovations or rejecting technically inefficient innovations.

Methodology:

We would work on a premise that an innovations are always generic in nature and share similar characteristics across any industry, geographical or social context. The methodology would be to explore which contextual, behavioural & social factors are responsible for making an innovation technically efficient. We propose to explore journal articles, news articles as well as books on innovation & evidence management to get better insight into contemporary research on innovation and evidence management. Any academic journal exploring a measure of technical efficiency of an innovation will be of particular interest to us.

Research Design:

The research design into this topic would be broadly based on the following points

1) To list the different contextual, behavioural & social factors impacting the technical efficiency of an innovation within organisations or group of organisations

2) To explore degree of impact of each of these different contextual, behavioural & social factors on the technical efficiency of an innovation within organisations or group of organisations

3) To devise a model based on evidence management to determine “technical efficiency quotient” for any innovation which can then help an organisation make an informed decision on either adopting technically efficient innovations or rejecting technically inefficient innovations.

References:

1. Abrahamson, E. (1991) ‘Managerial fads and fashions: The diffusion and rejection of innovations’, Academy of Management Review, 16(3): 586-612.

2. Pfeffer, J. and Sutton, R. I. (2006) ‘Evidence-based management’, Harvard Business Review, 84(1): 62–74.

3. Peter Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

4. Robert B. Tucker, Driving Growth through Innovation

5. Tom Kelley, The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm

6. Clayton M. Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business (Collins Business Essentials)

7. Gary Hamel, Leading the Revolution

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