The aim of this study was to investigate how South African firms can build an innovation culture. Using the case study of Zen1One Company, the researcher employed a mixed method to gain insights from the management and other employees working for the Johannesburg-based PR firm. While a survey was used to collect quantitative data from 15 employees, an interview was employed to gain deep insights from three senior executives. In particular, a quantitative analysis of the employees sentiments provided the statistical evidence to address the issues surrounding innovation in an organization. In contrast, a qualitative analysis of the interview responses revealed the viewpoint of the management personnel regarding the same issues. In brief, the findings revealed that 60% of the respondents agreed that they are encouraged to present their ideas. The study also revealed that 53.3% of the participants agreed that they always receive the support they need to innovate while 26.7% of them strongly agreed with the statement. The quantitative analysis also provided crucial insights on how the sentiments of employees differ by age, gender, and experience. Similarly, the qualitative analysis revealed how the companys management team is doing to create an enabling environment for innovation. For instance, it is clear that the idea of promoting openness and flexibility is linked to the employees positive sentiments regarding the companys current organizational culture.
Building a Culture of Innovation in an organization: An empirical study on Brand PR firm in Johannesburg
In the current competitive environment that is constantly tightening in the brand PR and events management industry, companies are forced to seek alternative ways of being competitive (Do et al., 2016). The most suitable remedy to such a problem would entail revamping an organizations culture so as to seek innovations and to maximize the potential of the organization and its personnel. Innovation is the best approach for an organization to take when attempting to renew its business practices and discover varying ways to compete. Tucker (2002), states that ultimately innovativeness tends to be beneficial for the consumers, impresses shareholders and stockholders, and keeps the organization one step ahead of the competition. Still, such culture of innovativeness within an organization is also applicable and essential on a large scale too. It is because innovations account for an increase in competitiveness and improvement in productivity and efficiency. According to Tucker, (2002) such factors play a vital role in the generation of new job opportunities and also result in higher wages which in return sparks a growth of the national economy.
Making a culture of innovation is a troublesome test in any organization. Administration can't simply wave their hands and tell everybody they should be innovative from the specific day forward and pronounce achievement. Nor is it likely that representatives will persuade their administration to take after Google and give representatives one day every week off from typical work to concentrate all alone imaginative and innovative thoughts (Duarte Alonso and Bressan, 2016). While a quick move to a culture of innovation is improbable, a slower relocation way is conceivable. In a domain where innovation tended to sit tight for business heading and execute to that bearing, we are presently observing designing pitching the business on new bearings to investigate. The progressions from making persistent adapting some portion of the way of life have not been quick or simple, yet they have been sensational (Kash, 2010).
Change is coming. Innovations, for example, manmade brainpower, propelled mechanical autonomy, systems, propelled producing and synergistic associated stages will absolutely disturb many associations' plans of action inside the following couple of years. Extra changes could happen as the association modifies the way individuals work and the way the association connects with others in its environment (Friedrich von den Eichen et al., 2015;Hardie, M., 2010). Unavoidably, some innovations may have a sudden, boundless effect, while numerous others could be the aftereffect of a progression of littler changes that, together, make a critical change. With quick developing propelled advancements, as of now carefully upsetting plans of action in practically every industry, development has progressively turned into a concentration region of the board (Lacity and Willcocks, 2014). While meeting room exchanges may have once seen advancement exclusively from a hazard point of view, many sheets comprehend that their associations must expect and outfit the open doors that development and innovative interruption make to extend their piece of the overall industry and upgrade their image esteem.
Technology is constantly advancing. Therefore, companies need to be able to maximize the potentials of new technologies and tools so as to maintain their competitive advantage. Still, the world experiences expansion at a very rapid rate (Lukes, 2017). It means that market entry boundaries tend to come down while at the same time the competition levels rise. To Dundon (2002), all these issues lead to a new market type and a more demanding consumer market, that an organization is required to respond to. A global survey that was conducted during the early 2000s among 700 companies revealed that 84% of business leaders perceived innovation as promising competitiveness aspect in todays world of business (Dundon, 2002). In a nutshell, innovation occurs when organizations seek new ideas in products, organizational behavior, and business processes so as to attain more satisfactory values in the future. According to Greenhalgh (2010), such approaches extend their benefits beyond the customers but also to the organization and its affiliates. Therefore, innovation culture within an organization can be clearly seen to be paramount in organizations validity.
Background. The events industry and innovation culture
The events industry has experienced exponential growth both in profile and size over the past decade. With such progressive growth, the industry is potentially claiming its distinctive position from the related fields of sports, hospitality, and tourism. Jago and Deery (2010), point out that demonstrated capacity of innovation and new fields of knowledge would become increasingly essential so as to facilitate the growing number of strategic purposes of events. Similarly, the same case also applies to an environment with increased technological and social change and with regards to the current dynamics of consumer-led choices where the management is forced to recognize a growing variety of external responsibilities and internal needs (Talwar et al., 2010). Core fields in business knowledge like risk management, project management, financial and logistics management will have to be rebalanced with different areas of knowledge. It will ensure that the industry of events management is ready and capable of adapting to the global competition, potential global crises, and the rapidly varying business environment. Practitioners in the business field need to embrace emerging innovations and knowledge domains so as to adapt to the fickle consumer demand and the fast-changing business environment (Singh and Kota, 2017). Organizations involved in event organization cannot afford to embrace a status quo way of thought with the perception that when they accomplish the critical areas of their events effectively previously that customers will keep subscribing to their events.
Lockstone-Binney and Junek (2013) state that it is necessary for educators and researchers in event studies to meet their end of the bargain which entails expanding the boundaries of this fields knowledge, collaborating with practitioners and disseminating valuable understandings to the industry in forms that are easily consumed. Furthermore, business graduates are expected to be potential contributors to, and probable leaders of the future in this field, possessing the optimal skill set that would enable them to adapt and work in the industry (Robinson et al., 2012). Such measures would in the process, change the event managements landscape as we presently know it. These sentiments are further echoed by Stahle and Gronroos (1999), who state that an organizations knowledge investment in the future is increasingly becoming an essential success determinant in business competition since the traditional production factors such as physical capital and manual labor are in constant decline.
ii. South African Business and state of innovation
According to the 2008 South African Innovation Survey (which covers the years 2005 to 2007), an overall of 65.4% of businesses participated in innovation activities (Moses et al., 2012). Conversely, only 34.6% of the businesses reported no participation in innovation programs. Effective innovations were reported by only 27.2% of the businesses. Successful innovations, in this case, represented the innovative commodities, which were brought to the marketplace or the processes of innovation whose implementation was within the businesses. Succeeding innovators entailed of an 8.9% output only innovators, a 10.3% process innovators only and 7.9% innovators that had both process and product innovations. Unsuccessful innovators that constituted of 38.2% of the businesses testified to having only left or had ongoing innovation programs. Out of these businesses, only 1% claimed to have abandoned innovations, and an additional 3.5% testified to having both o...
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