The Influence of Hierarchy on Idea Generation and Selection in the Innovation Process

  title={The Influence of Hierarchy on Idea Generation and Selection in the Innovation Process},
  author={Dongil D. Keum and Kelly E. See},
  journal={Organ. Sci.},
The link between organizational structure and innovation has been a longstanding interest of organizational scholars, yet the exact nature of the relationship has not been clearly established. Drawing on the behavioral theory of the firm, we take a process view and examine how hierarchy of authority—a fundamental element of organizational structure reflecting degree of managerial oversight—differentially influences behavior and performance in the idea generation versus idea selection phases of… Expand
Reviewing, Revisiting, and Renewing the Foundations of Organization Design
A long tradition of research has examined the determinants and consequences of organization design. Scholars in this field have mainly been concerned with the extent of empirical variation inExpand
Organizational learning and bureaucracy: an alternative view
This paper aims to reconceptualize the relationship between organizational learning and bureaucracy. Although the two are generally considered to be antithetical, this paper shows that, in someExpand
Top-down, bottom-up or outside-in? An examination of triadic mechanisms on firm innovation in Chinese firms
This paper examines the influence of the interaction of three sources of innovation, namely, top-down (bureaucratic structure), bottom-up (high-involvement HRM) and outside-in (outreaching network),Expand
Exchange characteristics, capability upgrading and innovation performance: evidence from Latin America
The authors find support for the hypotheses that repeated exchange and exchanges tailored to specific customers have a positive effect on customer-driven innovation and find the support that internal capability upgrading, in the form of investment in product design, marketing and organizational development has apositive effect on customers’ innovation. Expand
The Effects of Hierarchy on Learning and Performance in Business Experimentation
The association of management hierarchy with learning from experiments and their performance outcomes across industries and contexts is estimated using proprietary data of live business experiments from the widely-used A/B testing platform, Optimizely. Expand
Sabotage and self-promotion: How strategic behaviors undermine idea selection
Generating and selecting ideas are fundamental tasks for most organizations. Thus designing and managing these processes and the associated challenges is vital. We study how idea generators employExpand
The Myth of the Flat Start-up: Reconsidering the Organizational Structure of Start-ups
There has been an ongoing debate over whether start-ups should be "flat" with minimal hierarchical layers. To reconcile this debate, this paper distinguishes between creative and commercial successExpand
The myth of the flat start‐up: Reconsidering the organizational structure of start‐ups
  • S. Lee
  • Sociology
  • Strategic Management Journal
  • 2021
There has been an ongoing debate over whether start-ups should be "flat" with minimal hierarchical layers. To reconcile this debate, this paper distinguishes between creative and commercial successExpand
Managerial Recognition as an Incentive for Innovation Platform Engagement: A Field Experiment and Interview Study at NASA
Incentivizing employees to engage with novel innovation mechanisms and contribute to collective problem-solving can be difficult. We run a field experiment with NASA (N=11,192) to study two widelyExpand
Understanding the Relationship between Divestitures and Innovation: The Moderating Role of Organization Design
This paper investigates a tradeoff that may exist between the quantity and quality of innovation outcomes in divesting firms, as moderated by their organization designs. On one hand, divesting firmsExpand


Organizational Structure and Innovation Revisited: From Organic To Ambidextrous Structure
Publisher Summary Innovation is a popular area of study in a variety of fields, such as business, economics, engineering, psychology, public administration, and sociology. It is viewed as a conceptExpand
The flow of ideas and timing of evaluation as determinants of knowledge creation
There are different perspectives on the study of knowledge in organizations, developed in economics, sociology, anthropology and organization theory. Several authors followed Schumpeter's idea thatExpand
An Efficient Frontier in Organization Design: Organizational Structure as a Determinant of Exploration and Exploitation
A mathematical model of organizational decision making is developed that combines an information processing approach in the spirit of Sah and Stiglitz with elements from signal detection theory to connect organizational structure to exploration and exploitation. Expand
Organizational Structure as a Determinant of Performance: Evidence from Mutual Funds
This paper develops and tests a model of how organizational structure influences organizational performance. Organizational structure, conceptualized as the decision-making structure among a group ofExpand
The management of innovation
Examines how organizations identify and respond to conditions of stability and change and classifies responses as appropriate or dysfunctional. Using case study and historical survey approaches, theExpand
Idea Generation and the Quality of the Best Idea
It is found that groups organized in the hybrid structure are able to generate more ideas, to generate better ideas, and to better discern the quality of the ideas they generate. Expand
Balancing Search and Stability: Interdependencies Among Elements of Organizational Design
This work examines how and why elements of organizational design depend on one another and identifies sets of design elements that encourage broad search and others that promote stability, and identifies circumstances in which vertical hierarchies can lead to inferior long-term performance. Expand
Corporate hierarchy and vertical information flow inside the firm—a behavioral view
Little is known about how corporate hierarchies influence managers' propensity to pass information upward within the firm. Two streams of literature arrive at seemingly conflicting and untestedExpand
Cognition and Hierarchy: Rethinking the Microfoundations of Capabilities' Development
A model of search is derived that jointly considers how routine-based and cognitive logics of action coexist within an organizational hierarchy to affect capability development and shows that managers' cognitive representations of their strategic decision problem fundamentally drive organizational search, and therefore the accumulation of capabilities. Expand
Biases in the selection stage of bottom-up strategy formulation
We propose that the failure to adopt an idea or innovation can arise from an in-group bias among employees within an organizational subunit that leads the subunit's members to undervalueExpand