It is imperative for organisations to gain an enhanced understanding of the various strategic elements influencing their corporate innovation in order to continuously remain competitive. Owing to the ever-increasing pace of technology advancement, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are becoming better positioned to influence the innovation performance of their organisations. Moreover, in pursuit of increasing the value return of strategic innovation endeavours, the roles of Chief Innovation Officers (CInOs) and other C-suite officers have been growing in recent years.
However, despite corporate innovation becoming a popular research topic, there is a limited understanding of what strategic elements are influencing the corporate innovation performance of private South African companies. In addition, research concerning the relationship between corporate innovation performance and the necessary competencies and traits of CIOs and CInOs remains scarce. In order to fully understand these noteworthy issues, the perspectives of both CIOs and CInOs have become equally important.
This research utilised a series of semi-structured qualitative interviews and collected feedback from 35 CIOs or CInOs of private organisations in Johannesburg, South Africa. The findings revealed that firstly, extant literature is general misguided in its assumption that corporate innovation is a one-size-fits-all concept. Respondents clearly demonstrated that there is no blueprint for corporate innovation as different business units and companies experience different contexts. Secondly, the research was able to identify six strategic levers and propose a holistic landscape for corporate innovation. It is through understanding how a business unit can cleverly combine relevant strategic levers within the corporate innovation landscape that enhances organisational competitiveness.
It is therefore envisaged that these levers and holistic landscapes can assist novice managers and seasoned leaders to better assess their innovation endeavours. The findings also demonstrated a knowledge gap amongst respondents with regards to understanding the interplay between the formal and informal corporate innovation components. Lastly, the important competencies and traits that enable one to drive corporate innovation initiatives are proposed.
By combining the findings of in-depth interviews, this research was able to propose a preliminary model. The outcome of this research may contribute towards an understanding of the potential barriers and enablers to corporate innovation related to both the formal and informal organisation, ultimately assisting the transitioning of the CIO into the role of the CInO
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2015.