Product and Process Innovation in Service Organizations: The Influence of Organizational Culture in Higher Education Institutions

By Obendhain, Alice M.; Johnson, William C. | Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, July 2004 | Go to article overview

Product and Process Innovation in Service Organizations: The Influence of Organizational Culture in Higher Education Institutions


Obendhain, Alice M., Johnson, William C., Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship


Executive Summary

Many organizations, particularly service organizations, have failed to stay atop their industries when confronting product and process innovation. These innovations place pressure on organizational culture-resources, structures, processes and values-for change. Some organizations appear to have an organizational culture that fosters adoption of both product and process innovations while others do not.

This study considered the organizational culture type of service organizations-particularly institutions of higher education-and innovative behavior related to them. Service organizations (Cameron and Quinn, 1999) including hospitals (Zammuto, Gifford and Goodman, 2001), and financial services (Cameron and Quinn, 1999) routinely reflect the clan culture, which espouses group values of loyalty, teamwork, and interpersonal cohesion. Likewise, 50.3% of the institutions in the sample reported a dominant culture type of clan. In addition, institutions reporting adhocracy as the dominant culture type reported higher frequencies of both product and process innovation than other culture types. This finding supports the logic provided by the Competing Values Framework, which suggests that the adhocracy culture type emphasizes operating values for innovation (Cameron and Quin, 1999). Many of the institutions in the sample reported no dominant culture type, thereby suggesting that some innovative institutions require a balanced culture, with similar emphases on each of the four dominant culture types. In summary, organizations desiring innovating could either embrace the adhocracy culture or seek to balance the organizational operating values among the various culture types of clan, adhocracy, market and hierarchy.

Introduction

The popular business press is filled with success and failure stories of firms that face environments characterized as fiercely competitive and ever-changing. Innovation is considered a critical component of business productivity and competitive survival (Zaltman, Duncan and Holbek, 1973). Technological innovations continue to hold vast opportunities for: 1) product innovation - the introduction of new types of goods and services for the external market and 2) process innovation - enhancement of internal production processes for goods and services (Perrio). Yet, these same innovations place pressure on organizational resources, structures, processes and values for change. Some organizations appear to have resources, structures, processes and values that foster adoption of both product and process innovations while others do not. Product innovations are significant to the life of any organization, as they provide the most obvious means for generating revenues (Johne, 1999). Similarly, process innovation is concerned with improving internal capabilities (Johne and Davies, 2000; Johne, 1999) and safeguarding and improving quality (Johne, 1999).

Many organizations, particularly service organizations, have failed to stay atop their industries when confronting product and process innovation. Moreover, many who failed to stay atop were, at one time, industry leaders. For example consider the history of organizations like, Detroit Edison, the New York Stock Exchange and Lucent. Albeit under different operating circumstances, each of these organizations met market and technological innovations with varying levels of responsiveness. In all cases, a decline in organizational performance resulted.

Explanation for the response to innovation of these organizations is what Christensen (1997) calls the Innovator's Dilemma. In this circumstance, market leaders do not demonstrate the ability to respond to innovations that are cheaper, simpler, and more convenient to use. Recent history offers several examples of organizations whose established technologies and market positions were interrupted by such innovations.

For example, the 1970's brought fundamental change in nearly all of the key external environments for Detroit Edison; such as, the energy crisis, nuclear power and the end of growth in demand (Denison, 1997). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Product and Process Innovation in Service Organizations: The Influence of Organizational Culture in Higher Education Institutions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.