Applied Research | InnovationOne

Applied Research (Abstracts)


We are leaders,  not followers. Through research, we create the leading edge knowledge necessary to advance an organization’s innovation agenda.
InnovationOne is scientifically developed and is the most comprehensive metric available today to measure innovation culture.

InnovationOne is helping to define the innovation curve by pushing it outward.  We do this by creating knowledge that can be applied in organizations.  Following are abstracts from our research on innovation and strategy.  Please click on any one of them to learn more.  Full articles are available upon request.

Peer Reviewed Published Articles


Spotlight on Innovation in the U.S.: Fortune 1000 Executives’ Perspectives on the State of Innovation in America

This is article is currently under review for peer-reviewed publication

The U.S. is the world’s largest economy, but is it a leading innovation nation?  As economies mature and slow in growth, innovation will prove to be a key driver in maintaining transient advantage.  This article presents a pulse on innovation in the U.S. as F1000 C-suite executives weigh in on their organization’s innovation health.  It also compares the U.S. score with proxy benchmark measures in other countries, and provides operational and strategic considerations to advance innovation platforms in U.S. organizations.  Managers will gain insight into common hurdles faced by some of America’s most prominent companies, as well as how to improve innovation practices in their own organization.

Innovation Nation? Innovation Health Inside the Fortune 1000

This report involves top line results of the largest study on innovation done amongst the U.S. Fortune 1000 to date.  This study, undertaken by Strategian and Lodestar Corp (from Princeton, New Jersey) uses the InnovationOne metric to assess the innovation health of the F1000.  Over 1,100 executives of the world’s largest organizations completed the survey, effectively developing and outlining a benchmark on the state of innovation in the U.S.

Innovation Saskatchewan: Innovation Health Inside the Province of Saskatchewan

This article is a white paper on the state of innovation in Saskatchewan.  It is available at the following link, http://www.innovationsask.ca/InnovationOne.pdf

This report, using the F1000 methodology and InnovationOne involves top line results of the largest study on innovation done in Saskatchewan.  This study, undertaken by Strategian uses the InnovationOne metric to assess the innovation health of the Saskatchewan economy, and its ability to create new value< nearly 400 business leaders responded to this survey, effectively developing and outlining a benchmark on the state of innovation in Saskatchewan, and concluded with recommendations to move the innovation orientation of Saskatchewan organization forward.

The DNA of Innovation

This is a reprint of the 2008 article published in the Journal of Business Strategy at the request of McGraw-Hill.

Innovation is the focus of many boardroom discussions today as executives realize that it is the key to developing a sustainable competitive advantage.  Knowing this, innovation is what organizations seek, but getting there has proven to be very challenging for most.  This article starts out by discussing the relationship between strategy, culture, and innovation, and then introduces innovation DNA that promotes innovative traits in employees.  The four DNA properties which include knowledge management, cluster enactment, venture experimentation, and co-alignment are banded together by employee constituency and psychological empowerment.  Together, these traits establish the foundation for the development and sustainment of an innovation orientation in organizations, effectively elevating strategy to the next level.

Citation: Dobni, C.B., (2011).  “The DNA of innovation.” Crafting and Executing Strategy, McGraw-Hill, (forthcoming February 2011)

Organizational factors that promote entrepreneurship and innovation: an exploratory model

In recent years, academic and practitioner interest has focused on developing entrepreneurial and innovative cultures as a method of competitive differentiation.  However, much less attention has been devoted to understanding the factors that support an entrepreneurial and innovation orientation (EIO) in organizations.  This article describes a procedure which explicates the EIO construct, and proposes a valid multi-item measure of EIO.  The findings suggest that an EIO may best be represented through a structure that consists of five factors identified as empowerment, market orientation, strategic infrastructure, context-focused learning, and creativity.

citation: Dobni, C.B., (2011). “Organizational Factors that promote entrepreneurship and innovation: an exploratory model.”International Journal of Innovation and Learning (in press).

The relationship between an innovation orientation and organizational performance

This article discusses the concept of innovation in general and work around measuring innovation in organizations.  This is followed by an exploratory study which delineates the relationship between innovation, strategy, and organizational performance using a cross sectional sample of Canadian organizations.  In this process, proposed relationships are discussed, as are the procedures used to test propositions.  It concludes with results and managerial implications.

citation:  Dobni, C.B., (2010). “The relationship between an innovation orientation and organizational performance.”  In-press,International Journal of Innovation and Learning

The relationship between an innovation orientation and competitive strategy

The strategy chosen in organizations is related to several factors including the organization’s mission, objectives, resources, and its innovation orientation.  Using a sample of Canadian organizations, this study examines the relationships between an organization’s innovation orientation and the types of competitive strategies they pursue.

An innovation orientation describes how innovative an organization is and the results suggest that such an orientation provides a context for the implementation of proactive growth-based strategies.  Organizations that possess high innovation orientations engage in value creation strategies such as market segmentation, developing new products/services for new markets, and product or service customization.  Those organizations possessing low innovation orientations generally practice less aggressive and internally focused strategies, de-emphasizing such things as customer service, brand reputation, and co-operation based strategies such as joint ventures and alliances.

citation:  Dobni, C.B., (2010). “The relationship between an innovation orientation and competitive strategy.” International Journal of Innovation Management, Vol 14, No 2 (April), 331 – 357

Achieving synergy between strategy and innovation; the key to value creation

To experience an innovation gain, organizations are required to create differentiable value.  To do so requires a certain synergy between strategy and innovation.  This article outlines the importance of innovation, but more importantly discusses the relationship between strategy and innovation.  It argues that strategic innovation is logical, yet strategy and innovation are quite different, both in terms of definition and function.    These differences are identified, and approaches to achieving synergy are outlined.

citation: Dobni, C.B., (2009). “Achieving synergy between strategy and innovation; the key to value creation.”  International Journal of Business Science and Applied Management, Vol 5, Issue 1, 48-58

The DNA of innovation

Innovation is the focus of many boardroom discussions today as executives realize that it is the key to developing a sustainable competitive advantage.  Knowing this, innovation is what organizations seek, but getting there has proven to be very challenging for most.  This article starts out by discussing the relationship between strategy, culture, and innovation, and then introduces innovation DNA that promotes innovative traits in employees.  The four DNA properties which include knowledge management, cluster enactment, venture experimentation, and co-alignment are banded together by employee constituency and psychological empowerment.  Together, these traits establish the foundation for the development and sustainment of an innovation orientation in organizations, effectively elevating strategy to the next level.

citation:  Dobni, C.B., (2008).  “The DNA of innovation.” Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 43-50

Measuring innovation culture in organizations: the development of a generalized innovation culture construct using exploratory factor analysis

Measuring innovation culture in organizations: the development of a generalized innovation culture construct using exploratory factor analysis

In recent years, academic and practitioner interest has focused on innovation as a method of competitive differentiation and as a way to create customer value.  However, much less attention has been devoted to developing a valid measure of innovation in organizations.  This article describes a procedure which explicates the innovation orientation construct, and proposes a valid multi-item measure of innovation predicated on a factor analysis of innovation descriptors.  These descriptors were derived from a process that included literature reviews, key informant interviews, and a survey of over 500 employees from the financial services industry.  The findings suggest that an innovation index may best be represented through a structure that consists of 7 factors identified as innovation propensity, organizational constituency, organizational learning, creativity and empowerment, market orientation, value orientation, and implementation context.

citation:  Dobni, C.B., (2008). “Measuring innovation culture in organizations: the development and validation of a generalized innovation culture construct using exploratory factor analysis.” European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol 11, No. 4, 539-559

The innovation blueprint

In boardrooms across North America, executives extol the advantages of being innovative.  Some believe that it is the next level of competitive advantage, the Holy Grail of business.  Yet, according to consulting firms Arthur D. Little Inc. and Gary Hamel’s Strategos, many organizations that try to become innovative rate themselves poorly at it.  Why is this the case, and how do we overcome the barriers?

This article sets out to answer these questions.  It introduces a blueprint that if followed, will direct organizations to the innovation zone.  Once organizations reach this zone, a level of synergy between strategy and innovation is achieved, effectively enhancing the organization’s ability to develop new wealth-creating opportunities, identify positive twists in strategic direction, and develop an ongoing capability to innovate.

citation:  Dobni, C.B., (2006). “The innovation blueprint” Business Horizons. Volume 49, No. 4, pp. 329-339

Developing an innovation orientation in financial services organizations

Innovation is the new business mantra, and recent studies have suggested that there is a strong positive relationship between innovation, market positioning strategy and performance.  Having an innovative organization can be an effective way in identifying and executing growth opportunities in the financial services industry.  Given the nature of the competitive landscape and the innovation disruption environment in the financial services industry, developing an orientation that will allow for emergent and ongoing innovation is the best way to provide a competitive advantage.

This article discusses the dynamics of innovation in the financial services industry and relationship between innovation and market related strategy.  It then introduces an innovation model that can be used as a platform by financial services organizations.  The model identifies three areas of consideration – context, culture, and execution – that will help organizations in this industry to develop and sustain ongoing innovation efforts.

citation:  Dobni, C.B., (2006). “Developing an innovation orientation in financial services organizations” Journal of Financial Services Marketing, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp. 166-179

Determining the scope and impact of market orientation profiles on strategy implementation and performance.

Strategy implementation and performance in organizations are influenced by its market orientation.  Market orientation is the collective of employee behaviours that affect strategy implementation, how an organization interacts with its environment and adjusts to changes within that context.  This study identified ideal behavioural profiles for organizations seeking to maximize performance by considering the scope and impact of a market orientation on strategy implementation.  Important strategic and performance implications of this dynamic were also revealed.

citation:  Dobni C.B., and Luffman, G., (2003) “Determining the scope and impact of market orientation profiles on strategy implementation and performance” Strategic Management Journal, 24: 577-585

Creating a strategy implementation environment.

There are two main objectives of strategy – positioning to compete, and creating a climate to support implementation.  The current challenge for management lies in strategy implementation.  This article offers a six-point taxonomy for managers interested in creating an implementation context.  This taxonomy goes to the root of strategy implementation, that being the creation of an environment that harnesses individual activities into a collective whole for the purpose of creating value and enhancing performance.  After all, it is the employees that make things happen.

citation:  Dobni, C.B., (2003) “Creating a strategy implementation environment” Business Horizons, Vol. 46, No. 2, pp. 43-47

A model for implementing service excellence in the financial services industry.

This article presents a model and provides considerations for implementing a service excellence initiative in the highly competitive financial services industry. This model identifies and defines service culture, desired employee service behaviors, operational standards and service outcomes necessary to enhance and sustain service excellence. When managed collectively, these components provide the organizational environment necessary to harness employee service-related activities for the purpose of creating value and enhancing performance. Implementation of this model resulted in a 20% increase in service quality scores across select areas in the sample organization over a two-year period.

citation:  Dobni, C.B., (2002) “A model for implementing service excellence in the financial services industry,” Journal of Financial Services Marketing, Vol. 7, Issue 1, pp. 42-54

Behavioural approaches to marketing strategy implementation.

The development and reinforcement of context-specific behaviours support the implementation of marketing strategy.  This article discusses the limitations of traditional strategy implementation pursuits, and then proceeds to report the results of two independent but related studies that consider methods of behaviour management – market orientation profiling, and behavioural repertoires – and their affect on marketing strategy and organizational performance.  This article concludes by providing perspective steps that managers can consider in efforts to adopt these approaches to strategy implementation.

citation:  Dobni, C.B., Dobni, D.M., and Luffman, G.A., (2001) “The behavioural approach to marketing strategy implementation” Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol.19 No.6, pp. 400-409

Implementing marketing strategy through a market orientation.

The adoption of specific marketing strategies is related to several factors including the organization’s mission, objectives, resources, and market orientation.  This study defines the relationship between marketing strategy and market orientation in a high technology environment – the telecommunications industry in the United States.  The results indicate that a market orientation provides a context for the implementation of specific marketing strategies by serving as a moderator of operational marketing strategy.  Specific examples of these relationships are provided.

citation:  Dobni, C.B., and Luffman, G.A., 2000 “Implementing marketing strategy through a market orientation,” Journal of Marketing Management, 16, pp. 895-916

Market orientation and market strategy profiling; an empirical test of environment-behaviour-action coalignment and its performance implications.

Organization performance is greatly influenced by employee behaviours and the resulting market orientation that they possess.  Market orientation is a behavioural culture that affects strategy formulation and strategy implementation, and how an organization interacts with its environment and adjusts to changes in that context.  The relationship between market orientation and performance is robust across several environmental contexts that are characterized by varying degrees of market turbulence, competitive intensity, and products/services introduction rates.  This paper identified co-aligned market orientation and strategy profiles corresponding to unique competitive profiles that represent best practices for an organization.  This relationship becomes dynamic when one considers the assertion that organization culture is synonymous with strategy.  As a result, the ability to profile ideal orientations has significant strategic and performance implications for organizations.

citation:  Dobni, C.B., and Luffman, G.A., 2000.  “Market orientation and market strategy profiling: an empirical test of environment-behaviour-action coalignment and its performance implications,” Management Decision, 38, 8, pp. 503-519

A blueprint for creating the value-added financial service

This article outlines the ways and means by which financial services organizations can implement a value-added orientation as a strategic initiative.  It discusses the nature of the value-added financial service, the key issues that will arise and choices that must be made about customers, operations and technology, human resources management and organizational design to support it.  The transition to a value-added service provider is revealed as a vehicle for implementing the marketing concept across all functions and processes in the organization.

citation:  Dobni, D.M., and Dobni, C.B., 1998.  “A blueprint for creating the value-added financial service,” Journal of Financial Services Marketing, Vol. 3, Issue 1, pp. 11-20

Business relationships: handle with care

This article, published in Canada’s top practitioner journal, Ivey Business Quarterly and written with Mr. Gerald Grandey, President and CEO of Cameco Corporation explores the importance and impact of developing long term business relationship in an environment where it is difficult to otherwise differentiate products and services.  The article present a taxonomy of stages and considerations in developing relationships that are enduring enough to become competitive advantages.

citation:  Grandey, G., Dobni, D.M., and Dobni, C.B., 1998. “Business relationships: handle with care” Ivey Business Quarterly, Winter, pp. 59-64.

Business schools: going out of business?

This article uses Michael Porter’s “five forces model” to assess the state of competition in the Canadian university-bases business school industry.  The analysis indicated that Canada’s business schools are becoming increasingly vulnerable to competitive pressures and that their competitive fitness is dependent on an agenda of strategic re-orientation.  Specific susceptibilities and strategic options for dealing with them are discussed.

citation:  Dobni, D.M. and Dobni, C.B., 1996.  “Business schools:  going out of business?  issues, challenges and strategies for management education,” Journal of Education for Business, 72, 1, pp. 28-36

Navigating the route to privatization

This article was published in Canada’s top practitioner journal, Ivey Business Quarterly, and considers the stages to move from a public utility to a private entity.  It is essentially a case study of Saskatoon’s John G. Diefenbaker International Airport’s move from a federal government entity to a private corporation.

citation:  Dobni, D.M., Dobni, C.B., and Painter, M., 1996. “Navigating the route to privatization.  Ivey Business Quarterly, 60, 3, Spring, pp. 46–56.

Working Paper Update


Risk, growth and innovation

This article explores the relationship between risk, growth and innovation.  Traditionally, growth in organizations is assessed with a degree of risk profile or grid utilizing established financial risk assessment models.  This article assesses the use of innovation as a method for risk-reduced growth and considers management centric and employee centric approaches to support growth.

Moving your organization’s innovation agenda forward

This article focuses on the implementation of innovation enhancers in organizations.  It considers factors that will facilitate an innovation orientation.

Assessing the state of innovation in Canadian organizations

The purpose of this article is to assess the innovation levels of Canadian organizations using a comprehensive instrument developed by the author (the innovation scorecard) with a view to identifying enhancers and inhibitors.   The innovation scorecard (developed by Strategian-innovationLogik) is a systematic tool for measuring progress across 12 defined dimensions of innovation.  The scorecard is value-added in that it is both diagnostic (sheds light on areas of strength and weakness) and prescriptive (identifies areas of focus as the organization attempts to become more innovative).  The article concludes with a discussion of the state of innovation within Canadian organizations, application issues, and considerations for further research.  This study includes over 750 organizations that have completed the InnovationOneTM survey.

Innovation in Canadian Organizations: The CEO’s Perspective

Over 81% of senior managers surveyed across American organizations agree that innovation creates a strong source of competitive advantage, and further, 90% indicated that innovation is highly valued.  Yet these same companies rated themselves poorly at innovation.  They provide a number of reasons for their ineffectual performance including short-term focus, lack of time, resources or staff, no systematic innovation process, and lack of strategic infrastructure.  In addition to the challenges already noted, it has been my experience that organizations are also at a loss to define what it is they need to do to become innovative, or how to effectively integrate innovation into their defined strategy process.  The purpose of this research is to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by Canada’s most progressive organizations from the CEO’s perspective.

This study focuses on three primary objectives:

i.) to gauge the CEO’s understanding of what innovation is – i.e. how they define it;
ii.) to uncover implementation hurdles and implementation enhancers as it concerns the integration of innovation with the organization’s strategy; and
ii.) to assess CEO’s opinions in respect to the major benefits of being innovative.

The outcomes of this research will result in a better understanding of the challenges faced by organizations as they pursue a path of innovation.  It will also help to clarify the definition of innovation as well as the performance implications of being innovative.