Salaman, Graeme and Storey, John
‘Nature has no outline, but imagination has’ contrasting executive renditions of the ‘commitment to innovation’.
European Management Journal, 27(4) pp. 234–242.
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In recent years, corporate and governmental agency declarations of a commitment to, and exploitation of, ‘innovation’ has been pervasive and powerful. In this paper we show how executives rearrange such a dominant societal thematic in order to control their organization in a manner which fits with their interpretative schemas. Drawing upon in-depth research of discourse and action in two major corporations – one in banking and the other in advanced telecommunications equipment design and manufacture – we reveal how senior executives ‘ruled in’ certain ways of talking about innovation and strategy and also as a direct result, ‘ruled out’ other, alternative ways of thinking. Antecedent, formative thinking leading up to the banking crisis of 2008 is explored.
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