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Untapped Innovation Capacity within Ordinary Employees Work-activities


Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


ISPIM - International Society for Professional Innovation Management


This case study shows the existence of potential untapped innovation capacity within employees’ ordinary work. Purpose of identifying untapped innovation capacity is to involve a broader participation of employees into innovation-work in order to increase innovation-efficiency in companies. The case study was conducted at one Swedish SME where four participating employees were interviewed and observed when doing their ordinary work. Communication via i.e. e-mails, conversations and phone-calls were identified in 32% of the 267 documented work-activities and is suitable as work-activities when searching for i.e. innovative opportunities, suppliers etcetera according to innovation models, which could contribute to innovation and done by anyone at any department. Future research is suggested to develop and test if communication-based work-activities where innovation-cognition could be added to employees when communicating in their ordinary work with purpose to contribute to an overall innovation-work. The benefits would be that more employees easily could contribute to innovation work by being aware of innovationissues while communication as usual in their ordinary work.


author = {Mikael Johnsson},
title = {Untapped Innovation Capacity within Ordinary Employees Work-activities},
month = {December},
year = {2011},
publisher = {ISPIM - International Society for Professional Innovation Management},
url = {}