Modelling and Measuring Innovation Culture




Organizational culture, Innovation, Survey


We aim to provide a conceptual model of innovation culture in organizations and build a survey tool to measure it. Innovation management focuses often on formalized processes whereas unwritten rules related to organizational culture are also a major factor for innovation and firms’ performance. We first position the role of culture with regard to innovation processes, then provide a model of innovation culture relying on five branches (External links, Teams, Organizational context, Individuals, and Leaders). Following the elaboration of this model called ETOILe, we address the issue of measuring it. In this paper, we focus on the less-known components such as External Links and design an ad hoc questionnaire.

The validation study is performed through a laboratory test with 115 professional participants followed by reliability analysis of data and principal components analysis. The results of the study enabled us to refine the diagnosis tool as well as the underlying model of innovation culture. The current version includes four branches (Team, Organization, Individuals, Leaders) and ten sub-dimensions including promotion and prevention regulatory focus, managerial practices, discovery and delivery skills, etc.

Because of its implicitness and intangibility, culture is often disregarded in the analysis of key ingredients of firms’ performance. Our model of innovation culture gathering such unwritten rules contributes to understanding why innovation is so natural and efficient in some companies, and why it is sometimes painful, despite robust managerial structure and methodological processes. Finally, we provide a diagnosis tool intended for all hierarchical levels of the organization, and not only for managerial staff. Our model and tool could be used at several levels: at the company’s level to grasp the overall cultural profile, at the department or team level to assess differences in innovation culture between subdivisions in a given company, and at a trans-company level to characterize cultural differences associated to business sectors (e.g., manufacturing sector, consulting sector, retail sector).