Conditions affecting innovation : a systematic review of innovation and a case study of a South African company

Dzebu, Godfree Maanda (2018-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.


ENGLISH SUMMARY : Conventional wisdom holds that innovation depends on management providing an enabling context rather than on management prescription and control. Accordingly, much of the literature on innovation management aims to identity various configurations of enabling conditions that are favourable for innovation to occur. However, this literature is subject to two forms of proliferation. Firstly, the list of enabling conditions grows longer and longer, impacting its usefulness. Secondly, various kinds of innovation (product/process, radical/incremental innovation) are distinguished and each demands a custom configuration of enabling conditions. The thesis attempts to resist this proliferation in attempting to distill a superset of conditions from the literature. To this end, a systematic literature review is done on various identified enabling conditions and factors in both incremental and radical innovation case studies. Thereafter eight super-conditions are created from the various conditions and factors in the innovation literature. These eight conditions are then subjected to a validation against top journals and it is shown that six of these conditions are relevant for radical innovation. Since there is a danger that the derived at super-factors can become too abstract to be useful, the second part of the thesis seeks to apply the final six super-factors to a well-known published innovation business case study of Discovery Health --- an organisation where different kinds of innovation took place (product and process as well as radical and incremental innovations). It was found that in the case study of Discovery three of the super-conditions could be identified, namely: leadership, strategy, and value system. For the remaining three super-conditions no clear support could be found in this particular case study. It is concluded that at least three conditions address an enabling context for innovation, both from literature and in an identifiable way in a concrete case of an innovating organisation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Konvensionele wysheid hou dat innovasie afhang van die bied van 'n ondersteunende konteks, eerder as van bestuursvoorskrif en -beheer. Gevolglik mik baie van die literatuur oor innovasiebestuur daarop om verskillende konfigurasies van gunstige kondisies vir innovasie te identifiseer. Hierdie literatuur is egter onderworpe aan twee vorme van proliferasie. Eerstens, groei die lys van ondersteunende kondisies langer en langer, wat natuurlik die nut van so 'n lys laat daal. Tweedens word verskillende soorte innovasie (produk en proses, radikale en inkrementele innovasie) onderskei en elkeen vereis 'n aangepaste konfigurasie van gunstige kondisies. Die tesis poog om 'n teenwig te bied teen hierdie proliferasie deur 'n superset van abstrakte kondisies uit die literatuur te distilleer. Vir hierdie doel word 'n sistematiese literatuuroorsig gedoen oor verskeie geïdentifiseerde kondisies en faktore in beide inkrementele en radikale innovasie gevallestudies. Daarna word agt super-kondisies geskep uit die verskillende kondisies en faktore in die innovasieliteratuur. Hierdie agt kondisies is dan onderhewig aan 'n validering teen artikels uit topjoernale en daar word aangetoon dat ses van hierdie kondisies relevant blyk te wees vir radikale innovasie. Aangesien daar 'n gevaar bestaan dat die afgeleide super-kondisies te abstrak kan word om nuttig te wees, beoog die tweede deel van die tesis om die finale ses super-kondisies toe te pas op 'n bekende gepubliseerde innovasie-gevallestudie van Discovery Health -- 'n organisasie waar verskillende soorte innovasie plaasgevind het (produk en proses, asook radikale en inkrementele innovasie). Daar is bevind dat drie van die superkondisies in die gevallestudie van Discovery geïdentifiseer kan word, naamlik: leierskap, strategie en waardesisteem. Vir die oorblywende drie super-toestande kan geen duidelike ondersteuning in hierdie spesifieke gevallestudie gevind word nie. Daar word tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat ten minste drie kondisies 'n ondersteunende konteks vir innovasie aanspreek, beide vanuit die literatuur en op 'n identifiseerbare manier in 'n konkrete geval van 'n innoverende organisasie.

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