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Communication as a determinant of organizational innovation

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This study of 32 small and medium-sized industrial enterprises explored eight distinct aspects of communication, as appraised by the staff (n = 493), and innovative performance, assessed by two indicators: perceived innovation effectiveness and patent statistics obtained from the Patent Register at the National Board of Patents and Registration of Trademarks. The results showed that intra-organizational aspects of communication, such as encouragement of initiatives and critical evaluation of performance, were associated with both indicators of innovative performance. In addition, a participative climate and interaction between the personnel in R&D, marketing and production were related to perceived innovative effectiveness, whereas interaction with clients and other firms related to the number of patents in the organization. The link between communication and innovation was interdependent with the organizational and staff characteristics including the number of personnel, administrative and R&D intensity, the level of vocational training, and the age distribution of the staff.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland, 2: Andersen Consulting, Itämerenkatu 1, Helsinki, Finland, 3: National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health, Helsinki, Finland., 4: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Department of Psychology, Laajaniitynt. 1, FIN-01620 Vantaa, Finland, 5: University of Tampere, Department of Administrative Science, Tampere, Finland, 6: Foundation of Finnish Inventions, Tekniikant. 12, FIN-02150 Espoo, Finland, 7: National Board of Patents and Registration of Trademarks, Arkadiank. 6 A, FIN-00100 Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: January 1, 2000


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