A Simulation-Based Approach to Understanding the Dynamics of Innovation Implementation
The history of management practice is filled with innovations that failed to live up to the promise suggested by their early success. A paradox facing organization theory is that the failure of these innovations often cannot be attributed to an intrinsic lack of efficacy. To resolve this paradox, in this paper I study the process of innovation implementation. Working from existing theoretical frameworks, I synthesize a model that describes the process through which participants in an organization develop commitment to using a newly adopted innovation. I then translate that framework into a formal model and analyze it using computer simulation. The analysis suggests three new constructs—reversion, regeneration and the motivation threshold—characterizing the dynamics of implementation. Taken together, these constructs offer an alternative explanation for the paradox of innovations that produce early results but fail to find a permanent home in the organizations that adopt them.
organizational theory, innovation implementation, reversion, regeneration, motivational threshold, system dynamics, implementation dynamics