Towards the Science of Managing for Innovation: Interim Discussions on Innovation Research Methodologies

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Anne-Laure Mention
João José Pinto Ferreira
Marko Torkkeli


In our previous editorial, we positioned our perspective and introduced the acronym “ROTRUS” to characterise the science of managing for innovation as – Real world, Observable, Testable, Replicable, Uncertain and Social. Specifically, we argued that methods that draw on point-in-time beliefs, perceptions and de-humanised data in a complex and evolving social setting of innovation management pose a challenge for replicability. We warned innovation researchers to avoid the pitfalls that might foster pseudoscience and generalised assumptions from information that is still in the proto-science stage. Drawing on longstanding understanding in psychology of the whole human, we discussed the need to explore methods that capture brain, mind and behaviour aspects in innovation management, spanning the analysis from individual to group and societal levels. In this editorial, we move the discussions forward by focusing on one plausible methodological approach to advance the science of managing for innovation – behavioural experiments. In the following sections, we explain our methodological stance or in other words our world view followed by a brief review of behavioural experiments and their relevance to innovation research. We conclude with a foreword on our final editorial in the series titled the science of managing for innovation. (...)

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