Abstract

Previous studies have identified innovation champions as key to obtaining resources for new projects in organizations, but several studies suggest that champions may actually discourage risky ideas (Howell & Shea, 2001; Markham, 1998; Shepherd, Haynie, & Patzelt, 2013). Using self- categorization theory, we argue that champions closely identify with the top management. This is likely to invoke a cognitive frame where proposals consistent with prevailing strategies are more likely to be supported and ideas that challenge the status quo are discouraged. Thus, we propose that champions may in fact be a source of the propagation of inertia by filtering out ideas that are too risky for the organization.

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