Creating the bottom-up organization from the top: Leaders as enablers of workplace innovation

Abstract

Workplace innovation enhances economic performance and quality of working life simultaneously. Yet successive surveys show that its adoption rate is slow. In many European countries, there is little infrastructure to support the adoption of workplace innovation, often despite a long history of poor productivity and skills utilisation. Enterprise leadership therefore plays a critical role in determining whether or not workplace innovation practices are adopted. Three selected case studies illustrate journeys towards workplace innovation from different starting points. They demonstrate how a consistent approach to shared and distributed leadership can stimulate employee empowerment and initiative from the bottom up, as well as the cumulative impact of small incremental changes.

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Totterdill, P. & Exton, R., (2017) “Creating the bottom-up organization from the top: Leaders as enablers of workplace innovation”, EWOP in Practice 9(1), 73–87. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/ewopinpractice.87105

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Peter Totterdill (Workplace Innovation Limited)
Rosemary Exton (Workplace Innovation Limited)

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