Demands for better innovative capacity in companies

Jun 16, 2017 | Research/Cooperation Global

The demands for innovative capacity within the public and private sectors are becoming increasingly higher. But a good innovative climate is nothing that comes by itself; changes in the organisation and new methods of working for managers as well as employees are needed in order to succeed. Peter E Johansson has been investigating how organisations can increase their innovative capacity by making sure that employees possess the right skills for the new work assignments resulting from the focus on innovation.

Peter E Johansson

Peter E Johansson is a Senior Lecturer in Innovation Technology in the research and education environment of Innovation and Product Realisation at MDH. A common thread in his research is his own interest in the human aspects, which are an important part in carrying out innovation work and how these relate to learning and development which form an integral part of the work assignments. Peter E Johansson has a background as a PhD in Work Life and Organisation Education, experience which will be very handy in his present area of research. 

– The increasing demands for innovation capacity at all levels in companies and in society put pressure on management and employees. There’s an uncertainty and unfamiliarity about the new forms of work that a better innovation climate demands, says Peter E Johansson. 
 
In order to create a better innovation climate, there is a need for employees and managers who can organise and carry out the work in such a way as to make innovation possible. Peter E Johansson’s research contributes to this by giving knowledge and understanding of the prerequisites that are necessary for organisations to take into account. It also provides the tools to be able to support the learning and development of skills of employees, which promotes the growth of practice-based innovation.
 
The concept of practice-based innovation is described by Peter E Johansson as a phenomenon where development and renewal within each individual organisation is founded on the work-integrated learning of its actors. This can be done for example in the form of new work methods, procedures, products or services. Different approaches give different results. By using efficient tools and having an open organisation in which all those involved are given room for ideas, reflection and participation, greater effect is achieved than by a complete concept where the employees are placed in a ready-made template.  
 
– One thing I’ve come across on several occasions in my research is the challenge of involving all the staff in an organisation in innovation work. It’s a good ambition, but if it’s not done in the right way there’s a risk that it will be very costly for the organisation at the same time that it will lead to only a few concrete results. Therefore it’s important to regard innovation work as a skills domain  in itself, having its own set of knowledge and skills and which in turn requires continual training and organising for in everyday work, says Peter E Johansson.