Ideas and innovation are the foundation of the modern organization. While employees are encouraged to present new ideas, it’s obvious that not all of them can be implemented, and it can be highly discouraging for employees when their new ideas are passed over by managers. Researchers (Brykman & Raver, 2023) recently discovered the factors that make ideas more likely to be implemented by organizational leadership.
THE RESEARCH STUDY
The researchers studied data from 1586 employees from five Canadian organizations. From those employees, they gathered 5776 messages regarding the ideas presented to managers through an online idea management platform. The idea messages were evaluated based on how much they were endorsed by the employee’s peers, how much they were opposed by the peers, and if the ideas were ultimately implemented by management.
The researchers found that the quality of the message and the extent to which it was endorsed by peers increased the likelihood that the idea was implemented by management. If the idea was opposed by the employee’s peers, it was less likely that management would implement it.
Since innovation is so vital for organizations, it is important for managers and organizations to encourage and foster new ideas. This research highlights a few key ways that this can be done:
- Provide clear instructions for how employees can craft high-quality messages to support their ideas. This may include having a clear rationale, explaining the organizational benefits, and highlighting the idea’s novelty, as well as identifying any potential barriers to implementing the idea.
- Ensure managers focus on implementing the best ideas, not just the most popular ones.
- Encourage employee participation throughout the idea-generation process; Recognize and reward employees who consistently provide high-quality ideas and feedback to others.
Brykman, K. M., & Raver, J. L. (2023). Persuading managers to enact ideas in organizations: The role of voice message quality, peer endorsement, and peer opposition. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 44, 802-817.
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