Comments for Encourage people to innovate: corporate entrepreneurs

ALEXANDRE Charline, BLANCKAERT Lucie, DEKIMPE Emilie, GENIN Alix, STAINIER Laura

Baer, M. (2012). Putting creativity to work: The implementation of creative ideas in organizations. Academy of Management Journal, 55(5), 1102-1119.

The paper “Putting creativity to work: The implementation of creative ideas in organizations” written by Markus Baer examines the possibility that the relation between creativity and ideas implementation is regulated by individual’s motivation to put their ideas into practice and their ability to network. In this paper, we can identify three key insights. The first one is about the link…
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The paper “Putting creativity to work: The implementation of creative ideas in organizations” written by Markus Baer examines the possibility that the relation between creativity and ideas implementation is regulated by individual’s motivation to put their ideas into practice and their ability to network.

In this paper, we can identify three key insights. The first one is about the link between the ideas’ generation and the extent to which those ideas are realized. Indeed, it explains that although innovating in a firm is a continuous process, there are two different steps the ideas must go through: Firstly, the ideas must be generated. It can come from the management, the employees, external sources, etc. Then, they need to be implemented, to come true. However, some of the ideas are often rejected due either to the innovation’s novelty aspect or the uncertain atmosphere running and thus the fear of fail. Consequently, the real issue here is the gap between the number of ideas generated and the number of ideas realized. Indeed, it can lead to workers’ demotivation. According to Vroom, the performance is equal to the motivation multiplied by the ability to network. Companies should thus work on those two factors to increase the number of implemented ideas.

Then, the second insight refers to the conditions required to go from the first step identified as idea generation to the second step, the idea implementation. These conditions can be divided into two factors: personal variables which are promoting the suggestion of ideas and organizational ones which are more focused on the implementation of ideas. The three main conditions retained are the implementation instrumentality, the networking ability and the strong tie that links the two previous factors. The latter leads us to the third and last key insight of the paper which aims at understanding how these factors are combined to jointly shape idea implementation. Indeed, instead of maximizing of one isolated factor, the maximization of the function between the main factors is the key to achieve a high level of idea implementation.

Regarding managerial implications, the first thing that we can identify is related to the uncertainty and the resistance to change that always happen when implementing new ideas. It is important to put tools in place in order to manage both incremental but also radical changes. The risks of not taking preventive measures are unnecessary delays in implementation or worse, its ultimate failure. To do so, different strategies exist such as the visualization of the change and its benefits, reward and recognition systems’ adaptation and the communication.

The second implication is directly related to the production of ideas that should be implemented. Indeed, companies need to give tools to workers to encourage them to share all their ideas about the company. Not only providing tools, some systems must be created to help employees who brought incredible ideas to realize them but also being recognized for the work provided. As an example, IBM launched a platform called ThinkPlace where employees are invited to share their suggestion regarding innovation.

However, in those previous insights, some limits can be highlighted. Firstly, the idea’s implementation is limited to the environment because it is a social-political process. It implies that creative ideas, compared to ideas that are more mundane, are naturally disadvantaged in harvesting the resources necessary for their implementation. Secondly, many studies don’t make the differentiation between idea creation and idea implementation. This could lead to some demotivation coming from workers who have invested time and energy on an idea creation, thinking to see it come true. Furthermore, the factors that shape the relation between creativity and idea implementation are still largely unknown. It can be explained by the fact that research has always been focusing on the quantity of ideas rather than on the nature of employees’ ideas. Finally, employees could have some fear to fail when providing ideas, and therefore, will only propose improvement of existing ideas rather than radical innovations.

Finally, in the further references we learn and discuss how technology as well as personal initiative can improve the generation and implementation of ideas. We identify also three conditions which are necessary to foster creative ideas: first, the access and exposure to diverse and new information, then full engagement in the work role is needed, and third the experience of socioemotional or instrumental support.

Further resources:
● Oldham, G. R., & Da Silva, N. (2015). The impact of digital technology on the generation and implementation of creative ideas in the workplace. Computers in Human Behavior, 42, 5-11
● Axtell, C. M., Holman, D. J., Unsworth, K. L., Wall, T. D., Waterson, P. E., & Harrington, E. (2000). Shopfloor innovation: Facilitating the suggestion and implementation of ideas. Journal of occupational and organizational psychology, 73(3), 265-285.
● Daniels, K., Wimalasiri, V., Cheyne, A., & Story, V. (2011). Linking the demands–control–support model to innovation: The moderating role of personal initiative on the generation and implementation of ideas. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 84(3), 581-598.

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Diego Palate

The 10 Myths of Entrepreneurship (University of StGallen)

This video is about 10 common myths of entrepreneurship. In this summary, we decided to focus on some of them and developing them with managerial implications and limits related to these myths. 1.Entrepreneurship is not an extraordinary phenomenon but lies dormant in each of us as an entrepreneurial potential to act. Implication: When hiring, think about the potential, not the entrepreneurial background.…
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This video is about 10 common myths of entrepreneurship. In this summary, we decided to focus on some of them and developing them with managerial implications and limits related to these myths.

1.Entrepreneurship is not an extraordinary phenomenon but lies dormant in each of us as an entrepreneurial potential to act.
Implication: When hiring, think about the potential, not the entrepreneurial background. Develop actions to develop potential.
Limitation: Not everybody has the ability to develop their entrepreneur potential, even if everyone has that potential. Therefore, hiring people just because they are convinced that they can develop that is not enough. People that are already entrepreneurs are also good people to hire in order to have a uniform team. The presence of entrepreneur could then be very helpful in order to develop this potential. Not be to idealistic.

2.According to the entrepreneurial method, its starts with the available means- who I am, what do I know etc – Not with mystical goals or fictitious ideas. Therefore, as an entrepreneur, I don’t submit my actions under one great idea. On the basis of my stock of means, I constantly develop my imagination about various possible goals for the solution of specific problems.
Implication: Promote this way of thinking. Do not limit the potential idea to the top idea. Push them to redefine the model.
Limitation: What if we don’t have enough means to achieve any good goal? And what if we have a too large amount of ideas? How to deal with them?

3. Don’t keep your ideas secret but exchange your goals on the basis of your means with others. So, co-creation develops with the additional means and the new goals of the partners.
Implication: Improve your means: ask advices and share your ideas (both you as a manager than your employees). At this stage only co-creation, not funding.
Limitation: You’re never totally safe from a bad surprise (people stealing your idea and doing better things in your back). Co-creation is good. But finding a partner who has the same ambition and value chain as you is not always easy.

Further references:

▸Rehn, A., Brännback, M., Carsrud, A., & Lindahl, M. (2013). Challenging the myths of entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurship & Regional Development,25(7-8), 543-551.
▸MOOC University (2013) Course ITE: Saras Sarasvathy Explains the Entrepreneurial Method (VIDEO).
▸TedxTalk(2013) Myths Of Entrepreneurship: Tim Foltaat TEDxPurdueU (Video)

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Verelst Charlotte

Brandstätter, H. (2011). Personality aspects of entrepreneurship: A look at five meta-analyses.

In the 19th century, the importance of the entrepreneurs for economic development was convincedly pointed out. Decades later, looking for personality traits characterizing entrepreneurs became a topic of research. Many studies have already been reviewed in meta-analyses. This paper presents a summary of 5 meta-analyses focusing on personality including risk propensity and also on achievement motivation. It attempts to integrate…
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In the 19th century, the importance of the entrepreneurs for economic development was convincedly pointed out. Decades later, looking for personality traits characterizing entrepreneurs became a topic of research. Many studies have already been reviewed in meta-analyses.

This paper presents a summary of 5 meta-analyses focusing on personality including risk propensity and also on achievement motivation.
It attempts to integrate its results in the light of the Five-Factor Model. What is the FFM? Also called the big five system, the FFM is the predominant reference system of personality traits. It consists on 5 dimensions used to measure the differences in personality.
Insights
1) Risk propensity of entrepreneurs and managers
This meta-analysis compares risk propensity between entrepreneurs and managers. Results indicate that the risk propensity of entrepreneurs is greater than the risk propensity of managers. Moreover, they divide entrepreneurs into two categories: growth-oriented entrepreneurs and income-oriented entrepreneurs. The risk is higher for those whose primary goal is venture growth.

2) Entrepreneurs’ vs. managers’ Big Five
This meta-analysis is based on the big five system and it examines the relationship between personality and entrepreneurial status. Results of this meta-analysis indicates that entrepreneurs score higher on Conscientiousness, Openness to Experience, and Extraversion, but lower scores on Agreeableness and Neuroticism.

3) Specific personality traits predict business creation and success
Besides the entrepreneurial status, the business success criteria may be given by the estimation of some entrepreneurial personality traits which goes beyond the Big Five location. By scaling the importance of the different traits for entrepreneurs, the analysis shows that traits judged as more important are correlated more significantly with business creation and business success in comparison with unimportant ones.

4) Entrepreneurial intention and performance – Big Five
Intuitively and based on other studies, it was predicted that Conscientiousness, Openness to Experience, Emotional Stability and Extraversion are more likely to have positive effects on intention and performance while Agreeableness was expected to have negative effects.

5) Achievement motivation of entrepreneurs
This last meta-analysis compares achievement motivation of entrepreneurs with that of managers. The study clearly confirms that entrepreneurs have higher achievement motivation, especially those who are the founders of their business and those who are oriented towards growth.

Managerial implications + limitations
As said earlier, entrepreneurs are more risk prone than managers. Entrepreneurs have to cope with situations that are unstructured and uncertain about the outcome of decisions. It is therefore more problematic for risk averse people than for risk prone people. However, running a new business demands careful and prudent decision-making. Therefore, being an entrepreneur requires a good balance between taking risk and being wise.

Limitation: However, the risk propensity assessed here the entrepreneurial intention. It does not apply for the entrepreneurial performance. Only the entrepreneurial intention is positively related to risk propensity.

The second managerial implication is an advice that come post hoc from people who have founded a business. Achievement motivation is key for business foundation as well as for business success. When becoming an entrepreneurs, you no longer have a person or group of people above you to set goals, deadlines and incentives. The responsibility of inspiration becomes a task of self-motivation.

Limitation: Indeed, it says that motivation is key to success, but it is not that simple. We believe it also includes other elements such as competences among the business, financing means, potential customers, …

New sources
– Kerr, S. P., Kerr, W., & Xu, T. (2017). Personality Traits of Entrepreneurs: A Review of Recent Literature. Harvard Business Review.

– Fitzsimmons, J. R., & Douglas, E. J. (in press). Interaction between feasibility and desirability in the formation of entrepreneurial intentions. Journal of Business Venturing.

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