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Innovative organisation cultures : a tale of two toolmakers
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by R Beckett, Paul Hyland
Organisation culture is increasingly seen as important in sustaining the competitive position of organisations. An innovation culture is perceived as the behavioural norms, attitudes, beliefs and (frequently unspoken) rules related to knowledge sharing and decision-making and as such these have a significant influence the management of innovation. During industry based research studies in the fields of inter-organisational collaboration and innovation there are increasing references to "a culture of collaboration" and the need for an "innovative culture" in these fields. If organisations are to achieve beneficial outcomes from active collaboration and from embracing innovation as part of that process they need to address issues of organisation culture. Market and value drivers shape organisation culture, with market drivers influencing what things are done, and value drivers influencing how they are done and what outcomes the organisation is altempting to achieve. This paper presents an approach used to characterise aspects of innovation culture, and analyses these aspects within two organisations in Australia. The first case study is a not-for-profit company that seeks to be a "centre for toolmaking innovation". The company was established by a number of relatively small companies associated with the toolmaking industry who realised there were many things that needed to be done to support their long term viability that they could not do on their own. The second case study' is a highly innovative and entrepreneurial firm with strong leadership provided by the CEO and owner. The analysis shows that there are different operational attributes needed to engender an innovative culture in the two organisations and that leadership does shape the approach taken and the organisational outcomes.