Revisiting Rogers: the diffusion of his innovation development process as a normative framework for innovation managers, students and scholars

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Angele Marie Beausoleil


Innovation has evolved into a core management function for most organizations. Business managers, regardless of sector or firm size, now require an understanding of and practice with the innovation process in order to develop a competence with navigating its winding path. To effectively engage in innovation processes, individuals require a distinct set of knowledge, aptitude and skills, or key innovative competencies. This paper examines a broad multidisciplinary literature focused on how innovation happens and the normative elements of its process, to inform key innovative competencies across its many phases. Through document analysis, empirically-based innovation process theories and models are examined with the intent to discover and propose a normative framework. The literature review provides a broad classification of innovation process descriptions and phases reflecting Everett Rogers’ original innovation-development process (IDP). Rogers’ IDP is proposed as a normative framework from which individual innovative competencies are identified and classified. Both the framework and typology are proposed as guides for innovation process understanding, participation and management. For innovation researchers and educators, this article suggests an innovation process normative framework may act as a recipe for further research on innovative competencies and innovation management pedagogical models.

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