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The complex innovation champion - three meta-roles facilitating innovation

The idea that every innovation needs a champion is generally accepted, but Gerard Berendsen and Ron Beckett found more than 20 roles described in the literature that could be identified with this concept. They propose that these can be clustered under three functional metalevel roles: A passionate idea champion, an investment champion who embraces innovation as a strategic tool, and an interaction champion that facilitates the process of innovating through timely internal and external connections.

We draw on structuration theory to help frame these three roles. We observe that the nature of linkages between these three roles and third party expertise/resource providers is less researched .We represent linkages in a model, which is mapped against empirical data from four regional programs aimed at building innovation capacity in different ways. This leads to an extension of the model and the identification of multiple two-way interaction pathways.

A publication for CINet 2015 by G.J. Berendsen (Twente Quality Centre, The Netherlands) and R.C. Beckett (Deakin University, Australia)