IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Actions driving and legitimizing radical innovations in a large firm


  • Johansson Magnus

    (Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Université de Gothenburg, Suède - IIE - Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Université de Gothenburg, Suède - GU - University of Gothenburg)

  • Rani Jeanne Dang

    () (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (... - 2019) - COMUE UCA - COMUE Université Côte d'Azur (2015 - 2019) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Rick Middel

    (Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Université de Gothenburg, Suède - IIE - Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Université de Gothenburg, Suède - GU - University of Gothenburg)


In a longitudinal real time case study over 14 months, we follow the process of radical innovation in an incumbent Swedish firm. Applying institutional theory and the concept of legitimacy, we try to shed new light on the firm process of developing and implementing radical ideas. We deconstruct the black box of individual actions undertaken in the process and trace the effect of these actions on the development and legitimacy for the radical idea. We find that when an idea lack top management support and the process of innovation are interrupted, lower level employees' action can have a defining impact of the survival. In the literature there is a perceived need for a consistent view on how to organize the bottom up processes of innovation within a firm. Emerging from the qualitative grounded analysis we thus formalize these actions undertaken in a radical innovation process.

Suggested Citation

  • Johansson Magnus & Rani Jeanne Dang & Rick Middel, 2012. "Actions driving and legitimizing radical innovations in a large firm," Post-Print halshs-00727515, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00727515
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christensen, Clayton M., 1993. "The Rigid Disk Drive Industry: A History of Commercial and Technological Turbulence," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 531-588, January.
    2. Hubert Gatignon & Michael L. Tushman & Wendy Smith & Philip Anderson, 2002. "A Structural Approach to Assessing Innovation: Construct Development of Innovation Locus, Type, and Characteristics," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(9), pages 1103-1122, September.
    3. Bledow, Ronald & Frese, Michael & Anderson, Neil & Erez, Miriam & Farr, James, 2009. "A Dialectic Perspective on Innovation: Conflicting Demands, Multiple Pathways, and Ambidexterity," Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(3), pages 305-337, September.
    4. Lippi, Andrea, 2000. "One theory, many practices. Institutional allomorphism in the managerialist reorganization of Italian local governments," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 455-477, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Actions; Radical Innovation; Legitimacy;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00727515. 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: (CCSD). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.