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What impacts more on innovation : Organizational context or individual competences ?

Brion, Sébastien and Mothe, Caroline and Sabatier, Mareva (2007): What impacts more on innovation : Organizational context or individual competences ?

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Abstract

The present article examines the link between a firm’s organizational context and its capacity to be ambidextrous in terms of innovation. Although the management practices underlying context have a profound effect on innovation, their impact has not previously been investigated. Nor has research looked empirically at the individual competences that should be developed in order to favour specific types of innovation. Using a dataset of 174 firms, the present study shows that firms pursuing exploration and exploitation strategies in terms of innovation should adopt long-term oriented practices that favor risk taking and creativity, thus creating an appropriate organizational context. Competence management was found to have a strong moderating effect on the link between organizational context and innovation ambidexterity. Implications include the need to look at how management may increase innovation ambidexterity, and to chose appropriate combinations of competences and organizational context.

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