Exploring the Tension between Clarity and Ambiguity in Goal Setting for Innovation
February 1, 2015 Editor 0
In this article we analyse the role of goal setting for innovation in an R&D context. The literature on goal setting for innovation is inconclusive; some scholars claim that goals should be ambiguous in order to inspire novel ideas, but others claim that clear project goals are important in order to undertake innovation projects in an efficient manner. We aim to explain this inconsistency by taking a more fine-grained view of innovation where we study goal setting in relation to exploratory aspects such as idea generation separately from exploitatory aspects such as idea implementation. The results from an empirical survey study in the R&D department of an automotive company reveal that a general ambition to be innovative is positively related to all phases of innovation, but the effects of clear project goals are more complex. We found that idea novelty increases under conditions of either high or low levels of goal clarity, whereas mid-range levels of goal clarity are related to fewer novel ideas. These findings inform existing knowledge about goal setting and innovation, and in particular challenge the body of literature showing that only high levels of ambiguity in goal setting are a fruitful means for innovation.
- Contingencies in collaborative innovation: matching organisational learning with strategic orientation and environmental munificence
- Nigeria: Multinational Concepts Unveils 3-D Digital Printing Machine
- A carbonic computer: Cylinder head
- Better vaccines for healthier life. Part II. Conference report of the DCVMN International 14th Annual General Meeting Hanoi, Vietnam.
- Strategic and tactical electronic business solutions in pharmacies and drug stores
- West Africa: Monsoon Project to Benefit Crops and Healthcare
Agile Innovation: The Revolutionary Approach to Accelerate Success, Inspire Engagement, and Ignite Creativity Only Ebenezer Scrooge Could Applaud Such Stark Inequality; The Dickensian Divide of Intensifying Wealth and Poverty
Subscribe to our stories
- SL Crowd Green Solutions September 21, 2020
- Digital transformation in the banking sector: surveys exploration and analytics August 3, 2020
- Why Let Others Disrupt You? Take the Smart Self-Disruption Journey! August 3, 2020
- 5 Tips for Crowdfunding During the Pandemic August 3, 2020
- innovation + africa; +639 new citations August 3, 2020