Scholarship in Action and the Syracuse Miracle
Edited by Bruce Kingma
Chapter 10: The Role of Information and Motivation in the Process of Innovation
Ruth V. Small, Mark R. Costa and Susan L. Rothwell INTRODUCTION Innovation is the very essence of the American spirit. Successful innovators take a problem and persist long enough to find a viable solution to it. Prather and Gundry (1995) consider innovation as problem-solving ‘that enables us to achieve a new, higher level of performance’ (p. 16). But what happens along the way? We know very little about the factors that contribute to or support the innovation process, and, in particular, who and what motivates and supports that process, and what part information resources and services play in supporting the process. This chapter begins with a description of our innovation continuum, from the earliest creativity phase through the innovation phase and into the more business-oriented, entrepreneurial phase. We target specifically two components of the innovation process: (i) the information requirements – that is, we view innovation as an information intensive process; and (ii) the motivational support – that is, we believe that social/psychological support is necessary to sustain innovator persistence. For each of these components we share some preliminary findings from a pilot study conducted with adult innovators. We conclude with a description of some of the ways we are extending this research, and offer some recommendations for future research in this area. THE INNOVATION CONTINUUM One might contemplate the process of innovation as a continuum from creativity to innovation to entrepreneurship, with creativity being the most abstract and basic of the three, and entrepreneurship the most specific and applied (see Figure...
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