Monday, November 15, 2004

11 13

Two other perspectives on innovation:

1) What makes an Organization innovative?
A) Specialization – people who know their jobs well will innovate, few generalist-innovators.
B) Functional Differentiation – the greater the division of labor, the greater the likelihood of innovation.
C) Professionalism – the more professional the roles, the likelier they will find innovative ways to do them.
D) Formalization – the more formalized the organization, the less likely it will innovate.
E) Centralization – the more centralized and top-down the firm, the less likely it will innovate.
F) Tenure – the longer the tenure of the manager, the likelier innovation will occur. (New arrivals are less likely to innovate, longer tenured managers may be more secure)
G) Slack resources – enable a firm to innovate
H) Internal Communication – more communication, the greater the probability of innovation. (Top-down is mostly orders, bottom-up is overwhelmingly positive, “the mum effect” of bad news. Peer-to-peer is where innovation happens, though much of the communication is gossip)
I) External Communication –The more permeable the firm, (hiring is one way) the likelier innovation – hire “cosmopolits” or “boundary spanners” have many outside contacts – most want to leave or find a job in the organization that doesn’t involve boundary role conflict because these people have conflicting roles, sometimes have to deliver bad news.

2) What makes Individuals innovate?
A) Individual Difference Characteristics – Personality traits – thinking style (2 types are systematic thinkers, who approach problems in a structured way, the consider costs and benefits or decisions, try to be rational, and intuitive thinkers, who relies on gut feelings about what should be done, they will go on hunches – the more systematic a thinker, the less innovative, the more intuitive a thinker, the more innovative) The more controlling and coercive parents are, the less innovative their children are (though the kids tend to achieve in academics, professionally) Supportive, undifferentiating parents raise the most innovative kids. Conscientiousness is another factor; the more conscientious a person, the less innovative they are. Creative personalities – tend to describe themselves as clever, confident, egotistical, humorous, informal, individualistic, insightful, wide-ranging interests, reflective, resourceful, self-confident, sexy, unconventional, snobbish – will innovate more than non-creative people.
B) Organizational Setting – Workplace rather than personality traits – how much supervisor support a person gets (immediate supervisor) a supportive supervisor leads a person to innovate. LMX – leader member exchange – makes the argument that in any work setting, there will be an in- and out- group. People will be marginalized, that is acceptable; for those who are in the in-group, employee wants to work hard, be productive for the boss, has personal loyalty to boss, likes the boss. But what allows one into the in-group? Similarity – interests and values are similar to bosses. Extroverted – extroverts get into the in-group. Competence – competent people get into the in-group. Impression management techniques – most common is to try to pretend to be interested in the boss as a person. What’s in it for the employee in the in-group? Access to information before others, they aren’t supervised as closely as others, they get more interesting and challenging jobs than others, the boss will delegate more to in-group members than others. Older employees in the in-group are over-rewarded, get more than they deserve; older employees in the out-group also get more, but because of competence. New employees in the in-group get more than they deserve, but new employees in the out-group get just what they deserve, no more no less. The organization benefits from this arrangement; in-group members work harder, are more committed to the organization, and are more innovative. Psychological Safety – if there is no retaliation for a failed idea, innovation will occur.

Kipnis – How people get their way in an organization

1) Ingratiation – used against coworkers and subordinates more often than boss. The transparency problem of ingratiating oneself to the boss means that it can be obvious, look sycophantic. Ingratiators are better liked by boss, but don’t get better rewards. Why do we ingratiate ourselves to coworkers and subordinates? Because we need their help.
2) Rationality – data driven, facts and figures used to target the boss.
3) Assertiveness – telling people what to do, used against subordinates.
4) Sanctions – bring forth organizational rules to punish someone – used against subordinates
5) Exchange – Let’s make a deal – used against coworkers.
6) Upward Appeal – go straight to the top, complain about subordinates or coworkers. “The Nun Story” – Sister Mary Hanorah, didn’t like new nun fashions the bishop wanted, wanted to maintain the old habits, Mary was selected to lead the group who wanted to maintain the old. Mary got a meeting with the pope to discuss the problem. Pope offered mediation between nun’s order and bishop. Mary Hanorah’s last name was Kroger. If one uses upward appeal on boss, one must have clout. Typically, an end-run around the boss is whistle blowing, and a last resort.
7) Blocking – extortion, preventing them from getting what they want until you get what you want – used on coworkers. Surgeons and their nurses were alienating maintenance workers and diagnostic service pros, a slow down took place. The surgeons would stay late, risked not making quotas…patients would suffer, so this was only done during elective, non-life threatening surgeries.
8) Use of Coalitions – a coalition is formed to exert influence in an organization – infrequently done. Used against subordinates, coworkers, and bosses. It is a hassle to form a coalition; they are only as strong as their weakest links. Unreliable members are worse than enemies, can weaken a coalition. There are a set of ideas that can predict the success of coalitions. One theory says that only a winning coalition will ever be formed; but why form a coalition if you are already going to win, and if one wins with a coalition, one must share the rewards. Another theory form to reach an adequate size to win, but not larger. The spoils of victory are shared among fewer, and a larger coalition is harder to manage. Another theory is that ideological similarity brings coalitions together, regardless the prospects of victory. Sometimes, a coalition has counter-cultural elements.

9) Consultations – tell people what you are doing, ask their advice but not share decision-making.

10) Inspirational Appeals – meant to inspire people to do what you want. Used against everyone.

11) Legitimatising – Blame the government, rules, or other uncontrollables to justify the action – used against everyone.

Which are likeliest to be effective? Ingratiation is a contingent strategy, doesn’t work against boss. Rationality works well, only approach that works against the boss. Assertiveness, sanctions, upward appeal, coalitions don’t work well. Inspirational Appeals seem to work, at least in the short term. Legitimatising doesn’t work well, people comply with letter not spirit of the law.

An alternative to Kipnis – How do organizations implement change? – Nutt identified 4 sets of tactics for change implementation.

1) Intervention tactics – Change agents are very hands-on in their approach. Steps to the intervention approach 1) Change agents must acquire authority to make change 2) Apply norms to identify performance inadequacies 3) Point out feasibility of improving practices 4) Develop concrete plans for closing the gap 5) demonstrate improvement after which performance is monitored. – 19% relied on intervention.
2) Participation – 1) Change agents identify needs to be met 2) Change agent sets objectives 3) Change agent creates task force(s) 3) Taks forces develop alternatives 4) Task forces make recommendations to change agent 5) Change agent accepts changes 6) Change agents monitor performance – 17% relied on participation
3) Persuasion – 1) Change agent stipulates needs or hires experts to stipulate needs 2) Develop solutions 3) Have individuals try to persuade everyone to accept them. External consultants are often used, or internal staff persuade others to accept the changes. – 30% relied on persuasion, but only in 30% of the cases were external consultants used.
4) Edict – Telling people what to do. 1) Change agent determines needs 2) Selects solution 3) Tells employees to implement the solution. 34% relied on edict.

100% of intervention-driven changes were successful. 84% of participation-driven changes were successful. 73% of persuasion-driven changes were successful. 43% of Edict-driven changes were successful.


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