Exploring the outcomes of innovation setbacks and failures. / Redmond, Amy.

2018. 378 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Unpublished

Documents

Abstract

Innovation is considered fundamental to the success of organizations and to the growth of whole economies. However, the path to innovative success is rarely straightforward. Innovative projects are plagued by uncertainty, risk and frequent setbacks and failures. Given the importance of innovation and the high setback and failure rates of innovative projects, it is surprising how little is understood about the outcomes of innovation setbacks and failures for innovators. Using a mixed methods approach, employing a longitudinal survey study and qualitative interviews, this thesis focused on three main aims.

The first aim of this thesis was to further understanding of the outcomes of innovation setbacks and failures, with particular consideration of the impact of innovation setbacks and failures on well-being, innovative work behaviour and motivation. This was explored using a longitudinal survey. Data was gathered from six participating organizations operating in a variety of sectors; finance, new technology, applications development, and consultancy (Time 1 N = 651, Time 2 N = 401). Results revealed that innovation setbacks and failures were negatively associated with well-being, innovative work behaviour, and intrinsic motivation and identified regulation.

The second aim of this thesis was to further understanding of why some innovators suffer negative outcomes of innovation setbacks and failures while others experience neutral or positive outcomes. This was explored through moderation analysis of the survey data. Resilience, supervisor feedback, and learning from setbacks and failure were all found to moderate the effects of innovation setbacks and failures on some or all of the outcome variables, well-being, innovative work behaviour and motivation.

The third aim of this thesis was to provide a more robust understanding and more nuanced description of the meanings of setbacks and failures within the innovation context. This was achieved through analysis of 22 qualitative interviews which revealed three different levels of setbacks and failure; ‘normal setbacks’, ‘more serious setbacks’ and ‘emotive failures’. Each were characterized by different features which set them apart from one another.

This research provides a novel understanding of the psychological outcomes of innovation setbacks and failure, offers insights into moderating factors which have the potential to impact outcomes. Finally, this research offers a new qualitative perspective in relation to the meanings, features, links and impact of setbacks and failures on innovative employees and projects.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationPh.D.
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date1 Sep 2018
Publication statusUnpublished - 26 Aug 2018
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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