Gary Oster, (2010) “Characteristics of emergent innovation”, Journal of Management Development, Vol. 29 Iss: 6, pp.565 – 574.
Purpose – This paper aims to examine a possible new construct of corporate innovation behavior. It proposes consideration of corporate innovation activities that occur outside of traditional innovation program constraints, and seeks to expand the historical definition of what constitutes useful innovation in an organization.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper is an early exploratory study and uses primary observation of numerous cases in the automotive, electronics, and energy industries, in addition to a wide review of the body of literature on innovation.
Findings – The paper provides significant evidence that unauthorized organic innovation may routinely occur within corporations, that this type of behavior may positively add to company revenues, and that similar innovation techniques may be effectively diffused on a broader scale within the organization.
Research limitations/implications – Because of the chosen qualitative approach of this initial study, the research results lack generalisability. Preliminary findings merit additional study, and researchers are therefore encouraged to further refine and test the concepts.
Practical implications – The paper includes implications for the further development of emergent innovation processes within corporations, which may ultimately lead to enhanced profits. It suggests that emergent innovation may be significantly important to long‐term corporate viability.
Originality/value – The paper fulfils an identified need to examine the impact of organic innovation that develops and thrives outside traditional approved corporate innovation strategies.