ABSTRACT

Recent decades have witnessed a burgeoning academic literature by applied psychologists on organizational innovation and individual creativity at work (Kimberley 1981; Pierce and Delbecq 1977; Van de Ven 1986; Van de Ven et al. 1989; West and Fair 1990). At the same time exponential rates of environmental change affecting many organizations have generated considerable interest among practising managers in innovation. This has fuelled a resurgence of popular prescriptive texts on how to manage innovation processes (e.g. Kanter 1983, Peters and Waterman 1982; Peters 1985). Innovation has thus been portrayed as a critical business response strategy for coping with environmental change. As Zaltman et al. (1973) assert: ‘The importance of new ideas cannot be understated. Ideas and their manifestations as practices or products are at the core of social change.’