Literature Review (adopting innovation in work organization )



Innovation refers to the aspect of generating ideas, a practice or an object that people will perceive as new or a new extension of an existing product. The uniqueness and newness of the idea lies on its performance and practical use. New ideas are supposed to bring an easy way of performing an act or producing profit to an organization (Jong & Hartog 2007, p. 23). From an organizational viewpoint, innovation refers to the general introduction of uniquely new idea or a tool to enhance performance and improve processes. The basic element of innovation is creativity. However, the two are different in that a creative idea is what bears an innovation. It is important for an organization to realize that creativity is just the beginning, the idea must be put into action in order to come up with the innovation. The importance of innovation in any organization today cannot be ignored.

In the current competitive nature of business, an organization must be innovative in order to ensure that it remains relevant in the field. Changes in technological requirements as well as in the market call for innovative changes in structures and processes. A change is a crucial process that can be a success to an organization or the source of its failure. When not innovatively applied, change can be detrimental and costly. Innovation can be targeted at model change, organization restructuring, processes change, product change or supply chain modification, depending on the required change. Changing the organizational processes requires innovation. Current paper reviews the available literature on organizational change and its process. It aims at providing deeper insights on what studies identify as a change and what innovations have been adopted to achieve a change (Jong & Hartog 2007, p. 24).


A wide range of literature and academic works have been written to explain the aspect of change in an organization. These shed light on the importance of change, principles of change and the change process. Innovation in the organizational change of structure has appeared as a common factor in most literature.

Organizational Readiness for Change

According to Susanto (2008), a change is what keeps an organization in the market. The only thing in an organization that is constantly there is change (p. 76). The success of an organization depends on the ability and readiness of an organization to change. This readiness for change is reflected on an organization members attitudes, beliefs, personal intentions and knowledge regarding the extent to which change is desired in the organizational structure (Susanto 2008, pp. 71-78). Susanto identifies a variety of aspects that determines an organizations readiness for change. Among them he mentions the general perception towards change, the vision for change, mutual respect and the management initiative and support for the change process. The transformational process across the key players in an organization is the core in the change process. In his case study to measure this readiness, Susanto (2008) studied the employees in a manufacturing company in Indonesia.

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The aspect of change was measured in a scale of 1 to 4. The highest score was recorded for acceptance to change (3.34) and the lowest for understanding the vision for change (2.46). These results showed that the company largely accepted change and had initiatives and support in place for change. The employees demonstrated acceptance that there was a need to change from the manual systems of production to new structures that were developed and less traditional. A change is only effective when these factors demonstrating readiness for the process are taken care of and there is support. There can be no change without support from the management and if all stakeholders do not recognize the need for it (Dyer, Gregersen & Christensen 2012, p. 23).

Adopting innovation to change structures in a working organization is not an easy task. It calls for a comprehensive survey of an organization structure to first identify the areas of the structure that really require change. According to Dyer, Gregersen and Christensen (2012), this should be followed by efforts to ensure acceptance of a change by stakeholders (pp. 35-38). This step involves revealing to the key players the flaws of the current structure and the perceived benefits of the new innovation. This ensures that they all have information on the basis of which they can make decisions. A new innovation should also be of benefit to employees in terms of offering better working conditions, better manipulation of tools or personal gains such as training.

The process for change should be smooth and transparent allowing scrutiny from all the involved parties. This enhances acceptance and speeds up the adoption rate (Dyer, Gregersen & Christensen 2012, p. 35). In every situation, the rate of adoption of a new innovation, especially that which intends to change the current structures, varies. There exist groups of early adopters, late adopters and laggards. The management should study population expected to adopt a change innovation to identify these groups. The early adopters should be used to exert influence on the rest of employees by making them leaders of the change process (Amabile & Khaire 2008, p. 101).

In the theory of organizational change, the main point is the application. This view bears a challenge, which, according to Song (2009), blocks the explanation of change as completely dynamic concept (p. 18). To obtain the real concept of change, several steady states of an organization have to be compared to identify a change. A change is, therefore, the difference between two states of an organizational processes when put side by side. For an organization to move from one state to another, presumably better, innovative change has to take place (Song 2009, pp. 16-19). Comparing two states of an organization during the inception of the change process serves to show this difference and to enhance acceptance based on observable benefits of a change. A different view of change and innovation is provided by Barnard and Stoll (2010), change according to this view is linked to what the scholar calls psychological contract (p. 117). This is explained as a belief that is held by individuals concerning the terms and conditions of a change. These are instilled through efforts by the management to effect change.

After an innovation, stakeholders should be given the details of an expected change and all players involved. This helps to build a strong belief in each of them of why a change is necessary. The results of this, according to the psychological contract theory, is the development of beliefs in the stakeholders that will push each of them towards effecting change. They are thought to enter into a contract with themselves. From this study, when enough information concerning the expected change was given prior to the process, the rate of adoption increased by 37%, reducing the time for change by 27% (Barnard & Stoll 2010, p. 112).


Change is inevitable for development. This implies that any organization must be ready to undergo changes with time. The effects of change can be positive or negative. They are positive if a change is well thought of and planned, and negative if a change is unplanned and reactive. Innovative change ensures that the process of acquiring new structures and systems is planned and hence the results are predictable (Austin & Claassen 2008, p. 321). When a change is a result of innovation, the change process leads to an improvement of work and structures for the benefit of an organizations. As the above studies show, there is a connection between the rate of adoption of change and the knowledge concerning a change, which influences acceptance.

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