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What Is Innovation? A Study of the Definitions, Academic Models and Applicability of Innovation to an Example of Social Housing in England

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Throughout history innovation has been conceived, defined, interpreted and understood in different ways but what is it? This study looks at innovation starting with a brief history of innovation. It then looks at a sample of the multiple definitions that there are of innovation throughout the literature and from these develops a composite definition. From this composite definition key components such as the creative process and academic models of creativity are looked at. The research then looks at the applicability of innovation through highlighting two studies carried out in England of innovation being applied within a social housing organisation. Through the application by a two dimensional typology of social innovation they had identified innovation being applied to new services and improvements to existing services. The research concludes that innovation can be identified with the creation of a new product or service or an improvement of an existing product or service.
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Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2017, 5, *-*
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DOI:
10.4236/***.2017.***** **** **, 2017 1 Open Journal of Social Sciences
What Is Innovation? A Study of the Definitions,
Academic Models and Applicability of
Innovation to an Example of Social
Housing in England
S. P. Taylor
University of Cumbria, Carlisle, England
Email: simon_taylor@rocketmail.com
Abstract
Throughout history innovation has been
conceived, defined, interpreted and
understood in different ways but what is it? This study looks at innovation
starting with a brief history of innovation. It then looks at a sample of the
multiple definitions that there are of innovation throughout the l
iterature and
from these develops a composite definition. From this composite definition
key components such as the creative process and academic models of creati
v-
ity are looked at. The research then looks at the applicability of innovation
through highlig
hting two studies carried out in England of innovation being
applied within a social housing organisation
. Through the application by a
two dimensional typology of social innovation they had identified innovation
being applied to new services and improvements to existing services. The r
e-
search concludes that innovation can be identified with the creation of a new
product or service or an improvement of an existing product or service.
Keywords
Innovation, Models, Creative, Incubation, Strategic
1. Introduction
Society has developed with the implementation of ideas that have come together
to create new solutions to problems or improvements to existing systems,
processes, products or attempted solutions. Having ideas, implementing them,
developing new ways of doing things and improving existing ways of doing things
have been part of mankinds history [1]. Ideas and concepts have influenced
How to cite this paper:
Taylor, S.P. (2017
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What Is Innovation? A Study of the Defin
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tions, Academic Models and Applicability
of Innovation to an Example of Social
Housing in England
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change as well as being influenced by it, reflecting through language the social
understanding of the world [2]. The coming together of ideas and the process for
developing solutions to problems has been called innovation, but what is it and
how does it happen? To answer this question, we first need to understand the
history of innovation. We also need to be able to define what it is and some of
the definitions within the existing literature need to be examined to understand
how it is understood by different sections of the academic, political and profes-
sional communities. Creativity and the development of ideas are key compo-
nents within the innovation process and this research looks at the creative
process. There is a significant academic literature on the creative proves with
different models and theories put forward to show how the process works. Sev-
eral academic models that have been put forward during the twentieth century
are examined. A well as understanding what innovation is it is important to un-
derstand how it can be applied to the world that people are living in to deliver
benefits that improve peoples lives. The research looks at two studies that were
carried out in England that looked at innovation within social housing provid-
ers. To provide a context within which we can focus on innovation it is worth
looking at the history of innovation briefly.
2. Innovation: History
Novation was a medieval legal term relating to renewing an obligation by
changing a contract for a new debtor[1]. The term was rarely used until the
twentieth century and used significantly in the early twenty first century. Godin
[1] argues that the meaning of the term innovation in the twentieth century has
been a resolution between the two contrasting terms of imitation and invention
which have evolved through the centuries from ancient Greek philosophy. The
imitation of reality was a central theme in the work of Plato and there has been a
continuous debate throughout the centuries about art imitating, copying or be-
ing an interpretation of reality [3] [4] [5]. Imitation has been considered as in-
vention at different points through history, during the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries in England patents were given to importers of existing inventions to
stimulate economic growth instead of to inventors [6] [7] and during the eigh-
teenth century the imitation of goods produced for consumption was considered
as invention for improving the quality, design and appearance of these goods [8]
[9] [10]. The expansion of consumerism from the sixteenth century [8] together
with the development of economic thought around wealth and material prosper-
ity from the seventeenth century [11] provided a context within which the later
industrialization processes can be said to have developed.
The renaissance in fourteenth century Europe had fostered a spirit of discov-
ery in the following centuries to seek the new, across all fields of knowledge in-
cluding the arts, science, literature, history and economics [1]. Scientific discov-
ery and technological advances were allied to invention [12] which by the nine-
teenth century had become key parts of the industrialization process linked to
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the economics of profit which in turn impacted significantly on society. The ap-
plication to economic theory of social and technological advances was pioneered
by Marx in the nineteenth century [13] [14]. Marx saw the development in in-
dustrial production as increasing capital and activity in the wider economy as
well as fostering social change [1]. The evolution of economic theory in the
twentieth century aligned the efficiencies of production to technological ad-
vances, industrial and economic growth [1]. The twentieth century saw the term
innovation used by some writers to explain technological change [15] as well as
being the subject of a body of literature assessing the processes behind the term.
Early theories looked at the psychological aspects associated with innovation, the
development of linear process models and the creative dimension of innovation
was recognized [1]. Innovation was seen in the mid twentieth century as an in-
strument of economic growth [16] and economic survival for organizations
[17] [18] [19] [20] [21]. By the late twentieth century the term innovation had
become entangled with advancement, technological change, social change and
development across many strands of knowledge, across society and personalized
to the individual [1]. In the twenty first century the term innovation signifies a
myriad of meanings and concepts influenced by different factors over the centu-
ries and some of these definitions are looked at in the next section.
3. Innovation: Definition
There are a significant number of definitions of innovation that are used across
different fields in academia, industry, government and service provision. The
academic literature available relates to a wide spectrum of disciplines and can
cut across discipline areas [22] [23]. For this study, it is important to have a de-
finition of innovation that is suitable for the subject and research being under-
taken. To do this, different definitions of innovation in the literature has been
examined to establish an understanding of the components that make up the
concept of innovation and specifically in relation to social housing.
The wide variety of literature and language used about innovation adds to dif-
ferent interpretations and understandings about basic concepts about the mean-
ing of innovation [22] [24]. As well as looking at the different components that
make up innovation the literature also provides several models, theories and
frameworks to understand innovation. Approaches have been made to establish
a unified understanding of innovation [25] which would have some advantages
around clarity and single purpose, but it has also been argued that such an ap-
proach would not be helpful [26]. The definition of innovation used in this study
has been developed following a review of the literature and examination of the
components of innovation. It supports the academic research being undertaken
through this study to make a meaningful contribution to knowledge.
To start the examination of literature on innovation a selection of the key parts
of several definitions from relevant literature are provided below in (Table 1). A
note is placed next to each definition to justify its inclusion in the table.
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Table 1. A sample of different definitions of Innovation in the existing literature.
Definition Justification
1 Creation of new combinations
of existing resources
Schumpeter recognized the
importance of innovation in the 1930s
2 Implementation of a new or significantly improved product
(good/service) or process (method/practice/relationship)
International guidelines
for proposed definition
3
Innovation is the creation and implementation of new processes,
products, services and methods of delivery which result in significant
improvements in outcomes, efficiency, effectiveness or quality
A widening of the definition
4 The successful exploitation of new ideas or ones that
are adopted from other sectors or organizations The UK governments definition of innovation
5 Creation and application of good ideas Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) definition
6 A continuous and dynamic process in which
ideas are transformed into value This definition includes value as a part of innovation
7 The successful introduction of new services, products,
processes, business models and ways of working
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) includes
business models and ways of working in the definition
8 The development (generation) and/or use
(adaption) of new ideas or behaviors This definition includes behaviors as well as ideas
9 The introduction of new elements into a servicenew knowledge,
new organization, new management/skills This definition focuses on the new within a service
10 Innovations are in a significant way new and
disruptive towards the routines and structures prevailing
This definition views innovation as
affecting the external environment
11 Innovation is the process by which
new ideas turn into practical value in the world
This definition focuses on the
practical application of ideas
Source: 1 [18], 2 [25], 3 [27], 4 [28], 5 [29], 6 [30], 7 [31], 8 [32], 9 [33], 10 [34], 11 [35].
These definitions contribute to the scope of the literature review, understanding
of innovation and development of the definition that is used in this research
study.
Table 1 shows different definitions of innovation and identifies some core
components that make up innovation. It also shows some convergence of ideas
and thinking regarding innovation [36]. These core components are taken and
put into a composite definition of innovation as the creative process whereby
new or improved ideas are successfully developed and applied to produce out-
comes that are practical and of value[36]. A key component of the composite
definition of innovation is the identification of the creative process which is dis-
cussed in the next section.
4. Innovation: The Creative Process
The creative process links creativity and innovation with the purpose of pro-
ducing something of value that can be traded, developed and commercially ex-
ploited. Cropley
et al.
[37] say that they prefer the use of the term value in-
novationto more accurately describe the linked process involving creativity
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and innovation as it is more explicit and reflective of that operative environ-
ment. They see the linked process between creativity and innovation as one
whereby a
duality
of approach is employed. Klein and Tremblay discuss creation
and innovation within the context of urban, social and cultural development
linking them as a linear process whereby creation precedes innovation: and,
innovation depends on the social acceptance of creation and the spread of its ef-
fects and results[38]. Within this context the commercial impetus is less of a
driving force behind the processes of creation and innovation. These processes
and their connection can be viewed in different way and not just in the linear
form [38]. A linear interpretation of the relationship between creativity and in-
novation excludes a range of other ways through which creative activity and in-
novation can take place as well as imposing a structured view of how creativity
and innovation takes place and interrelates. This includes ideas that come into
existence randomly or accidentally as well processes that can be unstructured,
random and uncontrolled.
It has been suggested by some writers, that only certain people or groupings
within society are creative [39] but it has also been claimed that everyone has the
capacity to be creative [40]. If it is accepted that everyone has the capacity to be
creative and that the processes involved are context dependent, then the unre-
strictive nature of these factors would suggest that creative activity and innova-
tion can take place through an infinite number of ways curtailed only by the re-
strictive factors that are also individual and context dependent.
Many different models of the creative process have been developed by re-
searchers, academics, practitioners and others, however, not all writers agree
that the creative process can be shown through a model. Vinacke [41] said that
creativity within the artistic process does not follow a model and Wertheimer
[42] saw the process of creative thinking as an integrated one. Within these dif-
ferent models there are some consistent themes including combining the devel-
opment of ideas together with the use of imagination and analysis. The older
models tend to look at the start of the creative process as being uncontrolled and
linked to the subconscious processes within a persons brain whereas the newer
models tend to lean towards it being a controlled generative process.
5. Creativity: Academic Models
A study of creativity undertaken by Plsek [43] has highlighted several models
within the literature on creativity that are important in explaining how the crea-
tive process has been analyzed by researchers, academics and practitioners.
These creativity models can be criticized for being no more than frameworks for
enabling thought and reason to be developed. Fritz [44] was dismissive of several
writers who have developed models of creativity, in terms of their understanding
of the subject itself, many of these people have never created anything other
than theories about creativity” (p. 4). Jung [45] identified two creative processes
at work, the rational and the subconscious. The former is a conscious process
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involving the systematic processing and adapting of existing knowledge, the lat-
ter is a process internalized within the individuals subconscious. Most models of
the creative process seek to balance both these strands whereas a small number
focus on one of the strands such as Barron [46] through his psychic creation
model, this identifies creativity as being a mysterious process based upon the
psychological and subconscious through four steps. Weisberg [47] identified
from his work looking at the lives of great creators that moments of inspiration
had been backed up by years of conscious work and preparation. The generation
of an idea backed up by conscious preparatory analytical work also requires im-
plementation to become fully realized. Contemporary researchers, academics
and writers have developed models that embrace the complex aspects of the cre-
ative processes as it encompasses different developmental, contextual and appli-
cability factors. In balancing creative and analytical thinking, models of the crea-
tive process have developed during the 20th century focusing on the harnessing
of creativity to enable problem solving solutions to be developed. The develop-
ment and implementation of creative solutions requiring the input of individu-
als, the right environment to be in place as well as the combination of elements
highlighted through models of the creative process.
The creative process was presented by Wallas [48] in a five stage model in
1926 which was not only one of the first to be developed but has also been used
as a basis for the development of subsequent models [49]. Wallas [48] believed
that creativity was a legacy of the evolutionary process which allowed humans to
adapt to rapidly changing environments and through his five-stage model he
sought to explain insights and illuminations within the creative process.
The model presented in (Table 2) is treated in some academic texts as only
having four stages with the
intimation
phase shown as a sub stage. The first
stage
preparation
, is where conscious preparatory work on an identified problem
or issue takes place including understanding it fully as well as attempts at resolu-
tion. During the
incubation
stage the issue or problem becomes internalized by
the individual into their subconscious to be processed prior to the development
of their insight, illumination or creative idea. A period taken during the
incubation
stage may help the individual to be more creative and aid their problem-solving
Table 2. Breakdown of the wallas five stage model.
Stage Description
Preparation The problem is defined, observed and its dimensions studied
incubation The problem is put to one side and
internalized into the unconscious mind
intimation The creative person gets a feelingthat a solution is on its way
illumination/insight The creative idea bursts emerge from its preconscious
processing into conscious awareness
verification The idea is consciously verified, elaborated, and implemented
Sources: Adapted from [50].
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abilities as well as enabling misleading approaches to be forgotten. Leading on
from this, it can be argued that, if a period is not taken during the
incubation
stage the individual may become fixated on taking forward an inappropriate ap-
proach to solve a problem. At the
illumination
stage the problem or issue returns
to the conscious and the individual has a new insight or idea regarding it. At the
last stage in the model the idea or insight goes through a verification process to
assess its appropriateness and its further development.
Torrance [51] sees the work of Wallasas forming a lot of the teaching on crea-
tive thinking and that it has influenced the development of other models of the
creative process. Wallas [48] noted that during the creative process outlined in
his model the individual can return to earlier stages. The first and last stages of
his model are placing purposeful preparation and critical verification together
suggesting that critical and analytical thinking complement each other rather
than contrasting against each other. It can be said that those who think creatively
study, analyze, verify and judge but they have trained themselves to perceive,
notice things, expect change and avoid making premature judgements. The im-
plied theory behind Wallasmodel is that creative thinking is a subconscious
process, it cannot be directed and that both creative and analytical thinking are
complementary.
Building on the work of Wallas, Rossman [52] looked at the creative processes
employed by 710 inventors and used the results obtained through a survey to
develop a seven stage model [43]. This model begins with stages to observe and
analyze a need or difficultywhich may be reflective of his survey respondents
but not necessarily a requirement of the creative process. The implication is that
a need or difficulty has to exist and be identified before the creative process
can take place. Rossman [52] has also added a final stage to experiment and test
the best fitting solution, which may also be reflective of the survey respondents.
This model has connotations of a positivist empirically based approach to aug-
menting creativity through a controlled process as opposed to a process that is
built around enhancing a creative spark that has ignited. An element of mystery
is still attached to the creation of an idea in Rossmans model although the
process identifies ideas as emerging at stage six as a response to an assessed
need.
Table 3 shows Rossmans seven stage model which begins with stages that
observe and identify a need prior to generating a creative idea, in contrast, Wal-
las [48] whose model begins with preparation and incubation stages which de-
velops an environment to foster creativity. The development of a creative idea is
shown in Wallass model as an
illumination
which is inspirational which differs
from Rossmans model where the creative idea is seen as emerging through an
analytical process. Unlike Wallas, Rossman [52] does not consider the process-
ing of new ideas or insights that appear at the illumination stage to be subject to
the subconscious the assumption that the subconscious is responsible for the
final solution is, however, no answer to the problem. It merely amounts to giving
a name to a thing which mystifies and puzzles us[52].
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Table 3. Breakdown of rossmans seven stage model.
Stage Description
One Observation of a need/difficulty
Two Analysis of the need
Three A survey of all available information
Four A formulation of all objective solutions
Five A critical analysis of these solutions to assess their advantages/disadvantages
Six Emergence of the new idea
seven Experimentation to test out the best fitting solution
Source: Adapted from [43].
The balance between the imaginative/uncontrolled aspects of creativity and
the processes to analyze as well as control them are shown in the development of
different models that try and explain the creative process. This could be said to
be a microcosm of the historical view that creativity is linked to flair. Imagina-
tion, genius, artistic venture and it is uncontrollable together with a more con-
temporary view that has sought to harness, engage, understand, control and to
use the energies of creative thought in a positive way. Taking elements of Wal-
lass work forward, Osborn [53] developed a seven-stage model (Table 4) for
creative thinking that balances both analysis and imagination.
As in the Wallas model, Osborn [53] includes the
incubation
stage, but his
model shares a number of similarities with Rossmans seven stage model. These
include an assessment of a need, the gathering of data relating to this need, the
assembly and selection of a solution as well as experimentation relating to the
selected solution. Like Wallas [48], Osborn [53] links creativity to the subcons-
cious whereas Rossman [52] links it to a more rational and analytical approach.
Wallas saw the creative process as an ongoing one whereby a single achieve-
ment or thought as the making of a new generalization or inventionwhich
can be dissected into a continuous process, with a beginning, and a middle and
an end[48]. The stages within these models of the creative process can be seen
as not being stages at all but processes occurring during creation which blend
together. To be successful the creative process is described as flowby Csik-
zentmihalyi [54] whereby it is the result of the coming together of elements
within a system; culture, an individual bringing novelty forward and external
people who verify the idea or insight. He sees the role of the creative individual
as being a link in the chain of a longer creative process and he sees creativity as
the cultural equivalent of the process of genetic changes that result in biological
evolution, where random variations take place in the chemistry of our chromo-
somes, below the threshold of consciousness[54].
Osborn postulated that creative ideas are trapped in the minds of individuals
because of the fear that people have of rejection if they are put forward. Osborn
[53] [55] [56] [57] developed
brainstorming
as a technique to be used to improve
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Table 4. Breakdown of the Osborn seven-step model.
Stage Description
Orientation Pointing up the problem
Preparation gathering pertinent data
Analysis breaking down the relevant material
Ideation piling up alternatives by way of ideas
Incubation letting up, to invite illumination
Synthesis putting the pieces together
Evaluation judging the resulting ideas
Source: Adapted from [43].
the generation of ideas, especially in group meeting through harnessing the
groups collective knowledge and interaction to develop ideas. This process en-
courages participants to contribute to idea generation through an open thinking
approach with equal weight put on each submission. Osborn identified four ba-
sic rules to be applied when using the
brainstorming
process; criticism is ruled
out, freewheeling is welcomed, quantity is wanted, and combination/improve-
ment are sought [53]. Rossiter and Lillien [58] see the generation of creative
ideasas vital to business successand highlight that the principles behind
brainstorming
have evolved considerably since Osborn put forward the
process. From the body of literature that has developed since the early 1950s,
Rossiter and Lillien identify six principles that have emerged that should be used
with the
brainstorming
process; there should be instructions for each planned
session, a target should be set for the number of ideas to be generated, ideas
should initiated by individuals, initiated ideas should be refined group interac-
tion, individuals should select the final idea through a voting process and session
times should be controlled to short periods (15 minutes for initial idea genera-
tion and 2 hours for refining/selection) [58].
The combination of imagination and control has been a continuing aspect of
the development of models of creativity seeking to systemize techniques to ena-
ble the directing and analysis of creativity. An example of this is the Parnes-Osborn
Creative Problem Solving (CPS) model which has developed alongside the use of
brainstorming
technique since the 1960’s [43]. Osborn introduced CPS with 3
steps-fact finding, idea finding and solution finding and this was refined by
Parnes [59] into a five step model and again by Isaksen & Treffinger [43] who
added a sixth step. In the model the first two steps (objective and fact finding)
and last two steps (solution and acceptance finding) require the use of analytical
thinking and the middle two steps (problem and idea finding) require the use of
creative thinking.
Table 5 shows the Parnes-Osborn CPS model which builds on the Osborn
seven stage model and Rossmans stage model through a rational, analytical ap-
proach to harnessing creativity to solve an identified problem or achieve a goal
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Table 5. Breakdown of the Parnes-Osborn CPS model.
Stage Description
One Objective findingidentifying the goal
Two Fact findinggather data about the goal
Three Problem findingidentifying potential problems
Four Idea findinggenerating potential solutions
Five Solution findingdeveloping the solution
Six Acceptance findingimplementing the solution
Source: Adapted from [43].
[43]. The CPS model treats creativity as a tool that can be focused and used to
generate solutions through an open, conscious and systemized approach whereas
Wallass model looks at creativity as a process that illuminates ideas for potential
solutions through the subconscious of an individual, which can be a random and
closed process. When comparing the CPS model to Rossmans model they both
favor a rational and analytical approach to identifying the problem and imple-
mentation of the solution but differ in approach at the illumination stage where
Rossman sees creativity as an unexplained process from which ideas emerge.
Koberg and Bagnall [60] put forward the Universal Traveller Model which
has seven steps and again presents a balance between the imaginative and ana-
lytical aspects of creativity as well as a systematic approach to the development
of the idea, generation of options, analysis and practical thinking. Step one of
this model asks that that the user accepts the situation as it stands and to view
this as a challenge unlike the other stage models where at step one the user is
asked to; prepare for the problem or issue (Wallas), observe the problem or issue
(Rossman), point to the problem or issue (Osborn) and find the problem or is-
sue (Parnes-Osborn).
Koberg and Bagnall present their model (Table 6) as a map and the creative
process as like taking a journey, starting with the problem and ending with a so-
lution, using a process that they describe as universally relevantin that any
problem, dream or aspiration, no matter its size or degree of complexity, can
benefit from the same logical and orderly systematicprocess employed to solve
world level problems[60]. They based their model on the study of Cybernetics,
human control systems, employing the systematic approach used to develop a
model that consciously controls creativity to design solutions to problems. They
state that the creative problem solving (design) processis a sequence of stag-
es∙∙∙ on a journey to a destinationwhich once experienced and learnt is interna-
lized by the individual [60]. The steps in their model need not be linear [60]
which allows for the random nature of the creative process, this was also recog-
nized by Wallas who stated, it is unlikely that creative procedure can ever by
strictly formulated[53]. The seven steps in their model were also identified by
Koberg and Bagnallas alternating between being divergent or convergent as well
as having an evaluation step at the end of the process for review and planning.
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Table 6. Breakdown of the Koberg & Bagnalluniversal travelermodel.
Stage Description
One Accept the situation (as a challenge)
Two Analyze (to discover the world of the problem”)
Three Define (the main issues and goals)
Four Ideate (to generate options)
Five Select (to choose among options)
Six Implement (to give physical form to the idea)
Seven Evaluate (to review and plan again)
Source: Adapted from [43].
This contrasts with the other stage models where the focus is on verification of
the solution (Wallas), testing of the solution (Rossman), Judging the solution
(Osborn) and accepting/implementing the solution (Parnes-Osborn).
Models of creativity have also been developed to reflect certain contexts and
specific environments such as engineering, commercial and business planning.
These models still look to achieve a balance of creative and analytical thinking.
An example of this is a model put forward for creative strategic planning by
Bandrowski’s process for creative strategic planning. In this model (Table 7)
Bandrowski places judgmentin the middle as an important part of the analyt-
ical part of the process and he specifies the specific creative skills that are to be
used to achieve the result through the process including skills in insight devel-
opment, creative leaps, and creative contingency planning [61].
Other models also look at providing a greater proportion to the external reali-
ty that an individual is applying their creativity to as well as the internal
processes that they are employing, an example of this is the model put forward
by Fritz as the process for creation[44]. He identifies the beginning of the
process as the creative acts of conception and vision followed by analysis of cur-
rent reality, action, evaluation, public scrutiny (building momentum), and com-
pletion as well as seeing the creative process is cyclical in nature-“living with
your creationbeing a meaningful end part of the process that leads to the next
creative conception and vision.
Fritzs model, which is shown in Table 8 focuses on the creative aspects of the
individual and was sceptical of formulaic approaches to the classification of the
creative process presented by other models. The stages identified in the models
of Wallas, Rossman and Osborn focused on the identification of the problem
and the application of a creative solution in contrast to Fritz whose focus is on
the individual and the identification of problems and creative problem solving
through their actions. The actions of individuals are fundamental to the identi-
fication of a problem as well as its solution and the level of motivation that an
individual has affects these actions. A range of factors can impact on motivation
including autonomy, ownership, influence, reward, challenge as well as personal
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Table 7. Breakdown of the Brandowskis model for creative strategic planning.
Stage Description
Analysis standard planning, insight development
Creativity creative leaps, strategic connections
Judgment concept building, critical judgment
Planning action planning, creative contingency planning
Action flexible implementation, monitoring results
Source: Adapted from [43].
Table 8. Breakdown of the fritzprocess for creation.
Stage Description
One Conception
Two Vision VIV Vision
Three Current reality
Four Take action
Five Adjust, learn, evaluate, adjust
Six Building momentum
Seven Completion
Eight Living with your creation
Source: Adapted from [43].
behaviour characteristics. In the literature relating to the motivation of staff
working in organizationsthese factors can be identified; being in control, hav-
ing independence, owning and influencing your own work [62] [63] [64]; re-
quirements to perform, achieve targets and timescales [65] [66] [67].
6. Innovation: Social Housing
A significant amount of the literature identifies looks at innovation within social
housing relating to the design and build of housing, reduced carbon usage and
sustainable construction [68]-[76]. Innovation in technological advances in
medicine and health care which is applied to housing services, mostly used by
elderly people through telecare and assistive technologies [77]-[82]. There is very
limited literature relating to innovation across the whole services provided by
Housing Associations as social housing providers. Two studies that looked at
innovation in HAs were undertaken by Walker & Jeanas [83] and a further study
undertaken by Walker
et al.
[84]. Both used a two-dimensional typology put
forward by Osborn [85] to look at innovations within their research studies.
This model built on the traditional split of innovation between product and
process allowing for innovation to occur at any stage of the life cycle thereby hig-
hlighting discontinuity (innovation) and continuity (organizational development)
along the dimensions of services and users[84]. Within the two-dimensional
S. P. Taylor
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10.4236/***.2017.***** 13 Open Journal of Social Sciences
model, the first dimension focuses on the impact of organizational change upon
the services that are delivered, and these are identified as existing or new ones
which also includes the discontinuity of services. The second dimension focuses
on the relationship of an organizational change to its users both new and exist-
ing as well as how their needs are met which involves end-user discontinuity
[84].
Four types of innovation were identified: the first is total innovation which in-
cludes discontinuous change that is new to the organization and serves a new
user group, the second is expansionary innovation whereby the change in-
volves offering an existing service of the organization to a new user group, the
third is evolutionary innovation whereby the change involves providing a new
service to the existing user group of an organization and the final classification
is developmental innovation where the services of an organization to its exist-
ing user group are modified or improved[84].
The information within Table 9 is plotted on an XY graph format whereby
the two-dimensional typology and innovations identified are plotted against the
four categories in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Typology of social policy innovation. Source: [85].
Table 9. Typology of public services innovation.
Services
Users
New Existing
New Total Innovation Evolutionary
Existing Expansionary Developmental
Source: Adapted from [85].
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10.4236/***.2017.***** 14 Open Journal of Social Sciences
In the first study, Walker and Jeanas [83] researched innovation in three
housing associations in the late 1990s. The organizations selected for the case
studies represented the larger HAs in England who provided the most rented
accommodation. A main problem identified with the case study approach was
that it was not possible to gain a representative sample of housing providers as
the sector is so diverse with no two organizationsbeing the same [83]. The
identified innovations were focused under six areas of activity: cultural change;
customer focus/information technology; diversification; new management tech-
niques; organizational expansion and organizational structure. Many of these
were internally focused emphasizing service changes and reflecting the financial,
commercial, customer service and performance within an operating environ-
ment that was constantly changing and becoming increasingly competitive.
From the study (Table 10), the researchers found that in relation to new in-
novations change is discontinuous and radical, though more limited, incremen-
tal innovation takes place through change. It was found that the iterative and
dynamic nature of innovation make the process of classifying them problematic
not only because this process can be subjective but also because the innovations
themselves change through time. A further study [84] carried out on innovation
in housing associations also measured innovations that had been identified
against Osborns two-dimensional typology. Both studies highlighted several
common themes that emerged from the transformation of the sector during the
1990s including: diversification of activity into regeneration, community facili-
ties, care, special needs, private renting and contract management; the adoption
of new organizational forms through mergers and group structures; a greater
emphasis on a business ethos and management; and, a changing regulatory re-
gime [86] [87] [88].
7. Conclusion
This study shows that there is a process connected with innovation and that
there are different definitions within the academic literature about innovation.
Innovation can be considered as being product or process that is new or is existing
Table 10. Classification of case study HA innovations.
Organization
Innovation
Classification
Innovation Areas
Area Example
Total Diversification Private Renting
Evolutionary
Customer Focus
Diversification
Organizational Structures
Call Centres
Housing Plus
Network Form, Demonstration Project
Expansionary Organization Expansion Stock Transfers, Mergers, Contract
Management, Geographical Growth
Developmental New Management Techniques Business Focus, Performance Targets
Source: Adapted from [83].
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10.4236/***.2017.***** 15 Open Journal of Social Sciences
but has been improved. There are different models regarding the process of in-
novation and from these it can be identified that there is a strong link to creativ-
ity as part of the innovation process. In looking at the application of innovation
in social housing as part of the public sector this study has focused on two aca-
demic studies which looked at Housing Associations and Innovation and these
identified that innovations can be seen with a typology as new products or ser-
vices or improvements on existing products and services. Further research could
be undertaken to look at innovation within the social housing sector within the
United Kingdom within the twenty first century.
Acknowledgements
The author acknowledges help from his PhD supervisors at the University of
Cumbria in researching the area of innovation.
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Family businesses are faced with technological developments and global competition. Thanks to the big data provided by digital technologies and the analysis of these big data, making more rational strategic decisions is seen as a virtue that makes businesses superior to their competitors. Organizations that cannot keep up with transformation and change, that is, the innovation they need, are exposed to entropy over time and may have great problems in sustaining their existence. For this reason, innovation management is a vital issue in family businesses, which are an important part of economic life. It is seen that scientific researches on innovation management in family businesses have appeared quite recently and very different opinions have emerged in this field. In this section, the issue of innovation management in family businesses is discussed descriptively.
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