Innovativeness As Positive Deviance

Jeff DeGraff and Dan Nathan-Roberts

in The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199734610
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Innovativeness As Positive Deviance

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This chapter situates organizational innovation within the field of positive organizational scholarship (POS) via the concept of positive deviance shared by both disciplines. It deconstructs the definition of innovation and its wide variance of use in research and suggests the concept of “innovativeness” as a more accurate and viable description of the activities and outcomes associated with organizational innovation. The interrelationship of levels of innovation is explored, and key dimensions of organizational innovation are summarized. The competing values framework is used to operationalize the specific attributes, functions, and dynamics of innovativeness within a POS context. Descriptions of generative activities such as moving from problem identification to appreciation and abundance, creating sustainability via the “heliotropic effect” of energy and momentum, and the importance of emotional connection in creating a sense of a destiny are all familiar themes in both fields. This chapter proposes that the field of organizational innovation may offer useful pathways for POS to translate some of its key insights and research findings into practices for organizational culture and capability development, and relate these to specific value propositions and other outcomes.

Keywords: Innovation; innovativeness; competing values framework; positive organizational scholarship; organization; clan; adhocracy; market; hierarchy; propositions; practices

Article.  7198 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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