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Intro Innovation

Introduction to some facts about innovation, and into companies and their innovations.
© University of Twente

Did you know that The Netherlands is one of the most innovative countries in the European Union? Ranking only behind the Scandinavian countries (Financieel Dagblad, 2019).

Also, in the Global Innovation Index The Netherlands is in 4th place, indicating the innovative potential of the country and its businesses, (Global Innovation Index, 2019.

But what does innovation mean? Is it as easy as it sounds? And what can companies do to foster innovation? And what role do their employees play in increasing the innovative output?

You would maybe not expect it, but research shows that people management can stimulate organizational innovation (Shipton et al., 2006; Seeck and Diehl, 2016). With the right policies and practices in place, HR can increase the innovative work behaviour of employees (Bos-Nehles et al., 2017), which eventually leads to more organizational innovations and better innovation performance (Fu et al., 2015).

Do you know the famous Google example? Google used to have the 20% rule, where employees were allowed to spend time on their own innovative projects. Also Proctor and Gamble have a specific innovation program, which is called Connect and Develop and in which the company acquires and develops innovative ideas from many different sources.

Examples of innovation Before we can explain how organizations can make sure that they remain innovative, we first need to define what is meant by innovation. Innovation is a term that is used more and more often, with various connotations.

© University of Twente
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