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4 Managerial Implications

One of the biggest challenges that City Labs' managers encounter is to engage citizens in their innovation activities. Research on motivation in creativity and innovation has underlined the crucial role that intrinsic motivations plays in engaging participation (Amabile, 1996). In the cases of a bottom-up innovation modes, participants co-develop innovation projects for their own benefit. In the case of enabler-driven activities, the innovation project would impact the social local environment of participants. In this case, the rationale that could motivate participants would be “I am here to contribute to a project for my society”. In user-driven activities, participants are empowered to develop their own innovative projects for their own private benefit. In bottom-up innovation modes, managers should focus on providing the required tools and needed resources for reaching successfully the emerging project goal. However too much intervention or over-management could be counterproductive. In enabler-driven activities, participants should manage their own-created expectations with the available resources. Otherwise, they could feel demotivated if finally the forecasted results are not fulfilled. In the case of user-driven activities, emergent user communities might be reluctant to management control, as has been referred in the literature on communities of practice (Wenger, 1998b).

In providerand utilizer-driven activities, participants might be more motivated by participating in the innovation process rather than by benefiting of the final product resulting from the collaboration. In these cases, managers could increase the participants engagement by focusing on designing an attractive and enriching ideation process. Provider-driven activities allow the participation of a wide spectrum of participants that encourages the combination of different knowledge bases. Methodologies, tools and techniques facilitate the guidance and coaching all along the process, ensuring its consistency, replicability and control. However, following a too strict process protocol risks to reduce opportunities for unexpectedness and improvisation that could benefit creativity and imagination. In the case of utilizer-driven activities, the commercial exploitation of the collaborative innovation by a firm could refrain participation unless if participation is incentivized by monetary rewards. However, managers should not only focus on extrinsic motivation of participants, and also focus on nurturing a creative and enjoyable environment to attract engagement more based on intrinsic factors of motivation.

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