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Going underground: Bootlegging and individual innovative performance

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2014 Organization Science - Criscuolo, Salter & Ter Wal.pdfAccepted version300.8 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Title: Going underground: Bootlegging and individual innovative performance
Authors: Criscuolo, P
Salter, A
Ter Wal, A
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: To develop innovations in large, mature organizations, individuals often have to resort to underground, “bootleg” research and development (R&D) activities that have no formal organizational support. In doing so, these individuals attempt to achieve greater autonomy over the direction of their R&D efforts and to escape the constraints of organizational accountability. Drawing on theories of proactive creativity and innovation, we argue that these underground R&D efforts help individuals to develop innovations based on the exploration of uncharted territory and delayed assessment of embryonic ideas. After carefully assessing the direction of causality, we find that individuals’ bootleg efforts are associated with achievement of high levels of innovative performance. Furthermore, we show that the costs and benefits of bootlegging for innovation are contingent on the emphasis on the enforcement of organizational norms in the individual’s work environment; we argue and demonstrate empirically that the benefits of an individual’s bootlegging efforts are enhanced in work units with high levels of innovative performance and which include members who are also engaged in bootlegging. However, during periods of organizational change involving formalization of the R&D process, individuals who increase their bootlegging activities are less likely to innovate. We explore the implications of these findings for our understanding of proactive and deviant creativity.
Issue Date: Sep-2014
Date of Acceptance: 1-Oct-2013
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/15629
DOI: 10.1287/orsc.2013.0856
ISSN: 1047-7039
Publisher: Informs
Start Page: 1287
End Page: 1305
Journal / Book Title: Organization Science
Volume: 25
Issue: 5
Copyright Statement: Organization Science. Copyright 2014 INFORMS. http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2013.0856, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/.
Sponsor/Funder: Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)
Funder's Grant Number: ES/K001159/1
Keywords: Social Sciences
Management
Business & Economics
bootlegging
innovation
innovative performance
R&D
creative deviance
R-AND-D
ORGANIZATIONAL-CHANGE
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
MODEL
MANAGEMENT
DEVIANCE
COORDINATION
EXPLORATION
EMPLOYEES
AUTONOMY
bootlegging
innovation performance
radical innovation
creative deviance
R&D
1503 Business and Management
1505 Marketing
Business & Management
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2013-10-10
Appears in Collections:Imperial College Business School



This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons