The discovery of the hidden treasure. In Proceedings of The Workshop of the European Network of the Economics of the Firm, 11-12, September, Italy
The responsibility to be innovative and think of useful ideas and the privilege of making decisions in processes of innovation are typically restricted to specifically assigned R&D functions and/or upper echelon managers. Given the importance of innovation to most organizations, it may seem illogical to reserve such a 'license' to so few individuals. This paper argues that some parts of that license should indeed be extended to include 'ordinary' employees, as they are potential drivers of innovation. Research on Employee Driven Innovation (EDI) is still at its beginnings. In the paper we outline the 'grand structure' of the phenomenon in order to identify underlying processes as well as the most relevant drivers of EDI. Based on these insights we identify open research questions and make suggestions for the next steps. Our main argument is that 'ordinary' employees can specially contribute with their creative potential and their familiarity with operative processes.
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2008-Workshop of the European Network of the Economics of the Firm, 2008