IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Adoption of Radical and Incremental Innovations: An Empirical Analysis

  • Robert D. Dewar

    (J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60201)

  • Jane E. Dutton

    (Graduate School of Business Administration, New York University, New York, New York 10006)

Registered author(s):

    This paper proposes and empirically tests whether different models are needed to predict the adoption of technical process innovations that contain a high degree of new knowledge (radical innovations) and a low degree of new knowledge (incremental innovations). Results from a sample of 40 footwear manufacturers suggest that extensive knowledge depth (measured by the number of technical specialists) is important for the adoption of both innovation types. Larger firms are likely to have both more technical specialists and to adopt radical innovations. The study did not find associations between the adoption of either innovation type and decentralized decision making, managerial attitudes toward change, and exposure to external information. By implication, managers trying to encourage technical process innovation adoption need not be as concerned about modifying centralization of decision making, managerial attitudes and exposure to external information as would managers trying to encourage other types of innovation adoption, e.g., innovations in social services where these factors have been found to be important. Instead, investment in human capital in the form of technical specialists appears to be a major facilitator of technical process innovation adoption.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 32 (1986)
    Issue (Month): 11 (November)
    Pages: 1422-1433

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:32:y:1986:i:11:p:1422-1433
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:32:y:1986:i:11:p:1422-1433. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.