The development of an innovation leadership programme

Dean, Alicia Eleanor (2018-12)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Organisations are required to innovate to remain noteworthy competitors in the global marketplace. Many organisations realise this but continuously fail to implement the right practices to support the evolution of an innovation culture. In these organisations, innovation is defined as the responsibility of a select few within the Research and Development or Marketing departments and the latent potential of individuals and teams outside of these departments are never tapped into. Many companies attempt to further innovation by implementing idea management systems, rolling out training focused on developing creative thinking and other similar skills, and adding innovation to their organisational values. Whilst these are all important, it neglects a key ingredient necessary for successful innovation, namely management. Traditional management practices, rooted in control, predictability and risk aversion, often stifle innovation, which in turn is characterised as unpredictable and risk prone. It is therefore critical that different management practices and styles are adopted for innovation to become part of the organisation’s fabric. Existing innovation training programmes often focus on either the innovation process or creative thinking skills, and few programmes address the leadership knowledge, skills and behaviours required to successfully manage innovation. With this opportunity in mind, the primary purpose of this research project was to develop a training programme to provide team leaders and managers with the necessary knowledge and skills to manage innovation with their teams. Following a comprehensive literature review, the researcher decided to focus on four broad themes during the development of the training content, each of which represented a module in the training programme. The four modules were (1) the fundamentals and theory of innovation; (2) the nature of creative people and creative work; (3) the role of the work context, and (4) innovation leader behaviours, knowledge and skills. The principles of adult learning were also considered during the development of the programme. The training programme was designed to be interactive and involved the use of group exercises, reading material and video content. The secondary objective was to conduct a preliminary evaluation of the programme’s effectiveness, and the programme was therefore presented to a group of managers within a large call centre environment. The participants, as well as their subordinates, were requested to complete comprehensive questionnaires both prior to and upon completion of the training programme. The questionnaires focused on perceived organisational innovativeness, the organisation’s climate, as well as eight leadership competencies. Statistical analyses revealed that there was a positive improvement from the pre-assessments to the post-assessments, thereby indicating that the training programme was indeed successful in achieving its goals.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Dit is uiters noodsaaklik vir organisasies om innoverend te wees in die hedendaagse globale mededingingsmark om voortgesette mededingendheid te verseker. Vele organisasies besef die belangrikheid van innovasie, maar hul praktyke en prosesse weerspieël dit nie omdat hul dikwels daarin faal om die nodige kulltuur- en praktykveranderinge suksesvol te implementeer. In sulke organisasies word innovasie grotendeels beskryf as die verantwoordelikheid van spesifieke departemente soos Navorsing en Ontwikkeling of Bemarking, en as gevolg daarvan faal hulle om die versteekte talente en potensiaal van individue en spanne in die res van die organisasie te ontgin. Maatskappye poog om innovasie te bevorder deur stelsels te implementeer om idees te bestuur, opleidingsprogramme aan te bied wat daarop gefokus is om kreatiewe- en soortgelyke vaardighede te ontwikkel en ook om innovasie deel te maak van die organisasie se waardes. Die voorgenoemde is belangrik, maar een van die belangrikste komponente nodig vir suksesvolle innovasie, naamlik bestuur, word nie ontwikkel nie. Tradisionele bestuurspraktyke, wat gebaseer is op voorspelbaarheid, sekerheid en beheer, werk teen innovasie wat gekenmerk word as onvoorspelbaar en hoë-risiko van aard. Dit is juis om hierdie rede dat dit krities is om ander bestuurspraktykte en -style te implementeer vir innovasie om werklik deel van die organisasie se kern te word. Bestaande innovasie-opleidingsprogramme fokus meestal op die innovasieproses of kreatiewe denke, en min programme hanteer die leierskapskennis, -vaardighede, en -gedrag wat noodsaaklik is vir die suksesvolle bestuur van innovasie. Met hierdie geleentheid in gedagte, was die primêre doel van hierdie navorsingsprojek om ‘n opleidingsprogram te ontwikkel om vir spanleiers en bestuurders die nodige kennis en vaardighede te leer om innovasie suksesvol in hul spanne te kan bestuur. Na afloop van ‘n deeglike literatuur studie, het die navorser besluit om die programinhoud op vier oorhoofse temas te baseer. Elkeen van hierdie temas het ‘n module in die opleidingsprogram verteenwoordig. Die vier modules was (1) innovasiebeginsels en -teorieë; (2) die aard van kreatiewe mense en kreatiewe werk; (3) die rol van die werksomgewing; (4) innovasie-leiers se kennis, gedrag en vaardighede. Tydens die ontwikkeling van die program het die navorser die beginsels van volwasse leerprosesse in gedagte gehou, en die program ontwikkel om interaktief te wees. Gedurende die aanbieding van die program is van groepoefeninge, leesmateriaal en videos gebruik gemaak. Die sekondêre doelwit was om ‘n voorlopige studie te loods wat die doeltreffendheid van die opleidingsprogram bepaal. Die program is gevolglik aangebied aan ‘n groep spanleiers en bestuurders in ‘n groot kontaksentrum. Die deelnemers en hul ondergeskiktes is gevra om omvattende vraelyste beide voor en na die aanbieding van die program te voltooi. Die vraelyste het gefokus op waargenome organisatoriese innoverendheid, die organisasie se klimaat, asook agt leierskapsbevoegdhede. Die statistiese analises het getoon dat daar ‘n positiewe verbetering was tussen die voor- en nametings, wat ‘n aanduiding is dat die opleidingsprogram daarin geslaag het om sy doelwitte te bereik.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105061
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