Innovation management from the inside: An approach from attention and everyday praxis

Fran Morente, Xavier Ferràs


Purpose: We attempt to deepen the understanding of innovation management from the attention and everyday life.

Design/methodology/approach: Following a micro-sociological approach along with social constructivism, qualitative and inductive methods are used. The methodological design responds to the Grounded theory. Focusing on organizational units of innovation management, the empirical sample consists of a central case study coupled with six satellite case studies. For all cases, an in-depth review of corporate documentation is carried out. During 2016, an in-depth ethnography had been carried out in the case of a central study, including interviews with each participant; at the end of the year, qualitative interviews were carried out in satellite study cases.

Findings: The research results on an emerging theory establish a transverse movement crisscrossing an organization, which in turn diffuses organizational attention as regards the inputs of innovation, largely contributing to the fact that innovation management units experience multifocality, and that the agenda of their agents become volatile. In addition, the micro-sociological positioning offers a new vision in managing innovation, regardless of linear or schematic representations.

Research limitations/implications: [The empirical sample includes Spain-based organizations from different sectors. The data structuration and the derived conclusions could vary according to the chosen nation.

Practical implications: Far from abstractions, the paper offers results that enable understanding on innovation management from a realistic perspective. The knowledge of praxis allows a better understanding of innovation management carried out by these organizational units, which are the main nodes of promotion, stimulation and execution of innovation in modern organizations.

Social implications: From the micro-sociology perspective, our focus remains on the importance of agents and the everyday life in the process of building an organization as a collective representation.

Originality/value: The originality of the present study is in two sense: the conceptual framework explores innovation management for the first time through attention; under the methodological framework, we leave aside the hegemonic quantitative-structural approach, to focus the study in the everyday life of Innovation Project Managers (the organizational agents), who actually go on to implement innovation management. Thus, we elude the discursive rhetoric of innovation to cling to the real praxis, that by which organizations will get results and survive.


Innovation, Management, Attention, Microsociology, Everyday life, Grounded Theory

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2024

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience