Culture as a Driver of Innovation Performance : A case study at the ASSA ABLOY Group

Detta är en Master-uppsats från KTH/Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.)

Sammanfattning: Innovation has become increasingly important for organizations to sustain their competitive advantage. Among the factors frequently put forward as drivers of innovation are for instance innovation strategies, -processes, -tools, and –methods. Alongside these traditional managerial means, there is also explicit focus on innovation climate and –culture. Organizational culture has been proposed as a key factor in explaining innovation in firms, in particular in the light of high-performing and innovative firms such as Google and Apple. There is growing evidence implying that cultures supporting new-product development processes can foster innovative behaviors (Jassawalla and Sashittal, 2002). This supportive organizational culture can be defined as an innovation culture. Nevertheless, despite its apparent importance there is limited research investigating the relationship between innovation performance and organizational culture (McLean, 2005). This study aims to describe an innovation culture and the potential inter-relations there are between innovation culture and innovation performance. The study based on an extensive literature study within the area of organizational culture from where an analytical framework was developed including the following cultural factors, which are proclaimed to stimulate innovation; challenging work, collaboration, competition, empowerment, encourage change, freedom, innovation support, open communication, organizational encouragement and risk-taking. Moreover, a framework for measuring innovation performance was developed where the innovation performance was divided into four dimensions in the innovation process; Ideation, Ideation Output, Implementation and Output. The study uses both qualitative and quantitative methods for collecting data in terms of 38 interviews and 510 useful survey answers from 13 organizations. Results from the interviews were summarized and analyzed within-case and cross-case, while the survey results were analyzed with a regression analysis for uncovering potential relations between the cultural factors and innovation performance. Main findings from the study are the outcome from the regression analysis confirming five of the ten cultural factors to be significant for innovation performance; competition, encourage change , innovation support, organizational encouragement and risk-taking. Further the study confirms a few specific factors of the innovation culture that have higher impact on the innovation performance in specific dimensions than others. By clarifying inter-relationships between innovation performance in specific dimensions and different aspects of innovation culture, an identification of a deficient innovation performance dimension opens up for changes in the innovation culture, enabling to deploy supportive processes, procedures and roles to reach concrete output. Keywords: organizational culture, innovation culture, innovation performance

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