Factors which facilitate and inhibit innovation in a mature industry.
Much of innovation research focuses on the innovating
individual or the environment in which the innovation takes place.
Moreover, empirical work has predominantly been concentrated on
apparently innovative sectors such as those engaged in new
technologies or in the early growth phase of development. This
research is concerned with organisational characteristics which
affect innovativeness in a mature industry setting.
This research is based on a subsector of the UK textile
industry. The first phase of research sought to identify a
ranking among firms in the sector in terms of their
innovativeness. The second phase focussed on a small sample of
these firms and identified which organisational characteristics
appeared to be most associated with innovativeness. In the
sample of firms investigated it appeared that innovativeness was
very closely associated with a group of characteristics related to
the firm's business strategy and how well this strategy was known
and understood by members of the firm. Another group of
characteristics which also appeared to be associated with
innovativeness, though less closely, was related to the way the
firm was managed and the degree to which individual members of the
firm experienced freedom to use their own initiative.
The implications of the study are discussed and some lines
for future research are suggested.