Fuelling innovation by organizing for idea generation by employees

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The relationship between organizational structure and product innovation has long been of interest to academics and practitioners. Given the necessity to generate product innovations in the competitive software market, STAP HR has expressed its concerns whether they have enough innovation capacity to be futureproof. By means of a practice-oriented case study, this research contributes to the question of STAP HR in two ways. First, based on semi-structured interviews, insight into how the organizational structure influenced idea generation by employees was provided. The diagnosis showed that, in particular, the production structure hindered idea generation, by narrowing employees’ view, reducing the range of stimuli and hindering interaction between specialists. Second, conditions that encourage idea generation were incorporated into an organizational structure redesign. On the basis of a focus group and the results of the diagnosis, multifunctional teams have been designed that are responsible for the realization of a complete order. This enables insight into customer needs, products and processes, problem-solving possibilities, contextual depth and cross-functional contact, which stimulates idea generation. The insights provide theoretical implications and act as a show case for small to medium-sized software firms on how to strengthen innovation by organizing for idea generation by employees.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen