Is all balance created equal? - An analysis of how balance in the innovation process affects innovation success in Norwegian industrial firms
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The business environment has evolved into a dynamic and fast-paced world where companies rely on innovation to grow and sustain profitability. As innovation has become a collective effort in the company, fostering a culture for innovation has never been more important. Rao and Weintraub (2013) propose six fundamental building blocks of innovation culture: Resources, processes, values, behavior, climate and success. The factors within the processes building block are representative for the different stages in the innovation process, and this thesis seeks to understand the relationship between the balance in that process and innovation success. Using a cross-sectional design and survey data from several Norwegian industrial firms connected to the SISVI-project (Sustainable Innovation and Value Creation in Norwegian firms), we use statistical analysis to identify relationships using a quantitative approach. Theory led us to three separate perspectives based on different assumptions regarding how the balance in the innovation process affects innovation success. This thesis is the first attempt to empirically test these assumptions made in previous literature, and uncover what is most important in the innovation process to achieve superior innovation success. Our findings challenge the perspectives arguing that a specific part of the innovation process is more important than others and that the balance in the process affects the results in a significant way. In addition, our research found significant support for the impact the average of the innovation process parts has on innovation success. Managers are therefore advised to take all parts of the innovation process into consideration to achieve superior innovation success.