Fostering the Implementation of Creative Ideas in Organizations
Edited by Miha Škerlavaj, Matej Černe, Anders Dysvik and Arne Carlsen
The aim of this chapter is to shed more light onto the often-overlooked process between idea generation and idea implementation: idea championing. We begin with defining idea championing and then move on to describe how it manifests itself at the team level as an explanatory mechanism of idea generation in teams, and how it influences team-level idea-implementation outcomes. Schön (1963) was the first to point out the importance of product champions – advocates of an implementation of a particular product – for the success of technological innovation. Idea championing is a contemporary descending construct with an emphasis on the creative process. A commonly used definition for idea championing is: ‘A role where individuals are strong advocates for a project and generate positive behavioral support for an innovation during its development or work on behalf of the project in the face of organizational neutrality or opposition’ (Markham et al., 1991, p. 219). In essence, idea championing represents a position in an organization when someone creates, defines and adopts an idea (Maidique, 1980). However, it can also be understood more broadly, as definitions of idea championing vary, and also includes influencing others using any means necessary to succeed in promoting an idea (Schön, 1963), possessing and exhibiting political and sales skills in order to convince the opposition of the quality of an idea (Day, 1994), or linking an idea to experts with knowledge on how to implement it (Chakrabarti and Hauschildt, 1989).
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