Academic journal article Higher Education Studies

A Culture Model as Mediator and Repository Source for Innovation

Academic journal article Higher Education Studies

A Culture Model as Mediator and Repository Source for Innovation

Article excerpt


As innovation has become one of the most important competitive advantages, academic practitioner's interest in the matter has increased. But, still the question "why lots of organizations fail in their path of article to be innovative" is remained unanswered. In this, among many factors influencing innovation capacity of an organization; culture is addressed. Culture is defined as a multi-facet; multi- level mediator and repository that can lead organizations strive toward innovativeness; to success or failure. In this study, a model is proposed to exhibit different levels and facets of culture and introduces various factors that influence culture. This model is based on an open system approach, in which organization is seen as an open system including internal and external relationships, systems, interactions etc. that both influences, and is influenced by, the environment. Further, we conclude that, the coordination these among factors are necessary for cultural integrity which can increase the innovative capacity of an organization. Since here, innovation is defined as " creation and/ or adoption of a novel thing ( product, process, technology, etc.) for the organization that brings further value to the organization's stakeholders" this model can be applied for both organizations that attempt to innovate themselves or try to adopt an innovation form elsewhere.

Keywords: Culture model, Mediator, Repository source, Innovation

1. Introduction

In 21st century, steadiness is more interpreted as stagnation than stability and organizations that cannot change according to necessity are doomed to perish. As the business world is becoming more complex and competitive, competition is becoming global and low wage countries are reaching global markets, innovation is becoming leading company's weapon of choice against this unfair competition. Innovation is their source of competitive advantage to compensate growing labor cost. Although the necessity of innovation is now undoubtedly accepted, leaders know that, in order to have sustainable innovation, they need to foster "innovation culture".

Late prosperity toward cultures is due to the fact that culture is not a tangible and observable factor. This complicated phenomenon has been borrowed from anthropology and gradually, came to be used in almost all social and commercial groups, including the whole nation, organization, departments and even teams within organizations and vastly used in management studies and organizational sciences. Although there is still no consensus about what this term indicates and includes but from the 80's vast intention was put to corporate culture and many researches were conducted through and varied definitions were proposed. Main reason for this interest, may reside in the fact that organizational culture plays a key role in organizational productivity.

Reviewing literature, we may conclude that many theorists suggest that organizational culture lies in different levels, and each level exhibits its own features. As Hellriegel and Woodman (2001) has stated: knowing about one organization's structure, information systems, strategic planning processes, markets, technology, goals, etc. can offer clues about its culture but not accurately. In this paper through literature review we are about to review factors affecting innovation culture, classify and organize them and finally propose a model containing these factors.

2. Contribution

In literature one important shortcoming as Dobni (2008) has mentioned is the uni- dimensional; cause and effect view of innovation which has led to a lack of consensus on innovation and difficulties in both comparing findings across studies and drawing unbiased conclusions." Also, you can find some models for innovation culture elements but most of them just refer to one level or one dimension and do not comprehend all the elements.

Robertson and Gatingnon (1986) proposed a groundbreaking model for explaining firm adoption status; including micro level variables (organization and innovation characteristics) and meso- level variables (characteristics of the industry) and many researchers have applied their model in various ways. …

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