Organizational climate for innovation and creativity—a study in Swedish retail organizations

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Innovation in retailing is under-investigated in academia and yet highly relevant in practice given the current changes in the retail landscape. Although retailing is often characterised by a dynamic and highly competitive environment, retail organizations are not often considered as “innovative,” at least when compared with manufacturing industries or when using existing innovation frameworks in academic literature. There is a need to consider other ways of looking into retailing’s innovativeness—such as looking into the organizational climate— which may help explain how innovation is enabled in service organizations such as retailers. We applied a mixed-methods approach using an organizational climate survey based on Ekvall’s (1996) work, and semi-structured, one-on-one interviews regarding the creative climate and other aspects of innovation management in the companies. The study shows that despite retail organizations still struggling to incorporate innovation on a strategic level and move beyond incremental developments in their operations, retail organizations score positively on being innovative regarding certain dimensions of the creative climate survey. This indicates that retailers (especially conventional ones) could benefit from challenging current practices and moving towards becoming more active innovators, since the creative climate to a certain extent seems to allow for it. Respondents within the organisations also express a need for better innovation support, whether it is through integrated, formalised structures and processes, or an improvement in the current conditions of the organizational climate. How retailers could enable themselves to become more active innovators—based on what we know that retailers look more towards entrepreneurship and continuous development as a driving force rather than institutionalized innovation practices per se—is a potential avenue for further research.


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Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

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StatusPublished - 2018 nov
Peer review utfördJa
EvenemangThe 6th Nordic Retail and Wholesale Conference - Reykjavik, Island
Varaktighet: 2018 nov 72018 nov 9


KonferensThe 6th Nordic Retail and Wholesale Conference