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Research Project on Managing Innovation

Introduction

The leadership is an important skill which is required in every field of organisation. Through efficient leadership, a firm can manage diversities and keep all the activities of a company in right direction. In present time, the role of leadership has taken a new form according to which they have lot more responsibilities towards the organisation which makes their role in any company significant. In modern era, it is very essential for organisations to adopt the innovation concept with an increased focus so that they can make their company successful in market (Capozzi, 2010). For this, it is necessary for the firm to be able to cope with changes occurring in market on frequent basis.

The continuous monitoring of market and taking quick decisions for adapting various changes, it is vital for company to be lead by a skilled and efficient leader who can lead and manage the change in effectual way. Through innovation, an enterprise can easily move on the track of success. Here the role of a leader is to be ready and make its prepared for operating in a challenging and unpredictable situations. Besides this, it is necessary to be ready for taking different risks in business so that possibilities of success can be increased (Makri and Scandura, 2010).

The present research project is based on making an investigation on role of a leader in managing innovation within business. For this purpose, Aston Martin which is an auto mobile company of Britain has been taken for furt6her discussion. This organisation firmly believes on continuous innovations which is the key of getting success in market. The leadership and innovation in the said company helped it in making its place in market among leading auto mobile companies. In present report the leadership and innovation will be studied in deeper way to make a sense of both in any firm.

Rationale

The present topic of leadership and innovation is a most contemporary topic which needs to be studied in a detailed manner (Porter-O'Grady and Malloch, 2011). Every company is in search of a leader who can manage the organisation in a best way along with making innovations to keep its position at top in market. By conducting a research on this topic will help in understanding the relation between both and its necessity in the present time. The research will also help in getting a detailed insight of leadership effectiveness in company so that research aspirants and scholars can also use this approach for study purpose.

Aims and objectives

'To analyse the role of leadership in managing innovation: A case study of Aston Martin, UK.'

Objectives

  • To understand the concept of leadership and innovation.
  • To analyse the importance of leader in inducing innovation
  • To investigate various functions leader perform for innovation in Aston Martin
  • To recommend the ways through which effectiveness of leadership in nnovation can be enhanced.

Research questions

  • What is leadership and innovation?
  • What is the importance of leadership in inducing innovation?
  • What functions are performed by a leader for innovations in Aston Martin?
  • What are the ways through which effectiveness of leadership in innovation can be encouraged?

Literature Review

Concept of Leadership and innovation

The creativity and innovation can be understood as the potential of anything to do a work in a different manner. This refers to applying a new tool or method for performing any task which is a major driver of organisation's success in present era. The leadership on other hand is a skill which helps in leading a team or group of persons in an effective manner so that a teamwork can be achieved. According to Hoch, (2013), combination of the effective role of a leader and an innovative organisation can be a best match which can aid in producing the results in most profitable way. The leader plays an important role in managing innovativeness of company in a right direction.

In modern era, it is clear that for a successful survival of the business, it is essential to be creative and innovative in performance. This is why, nowadays, the leaders like to form a team of employees who are quite creative and innovative. The firms are planning various strategies which can help in fostering the innovativeness among their workers. The products and services are also presented in a creative and differential manner so that maximum profit can be attained. This is also a key for making a brand successful in market which helps in getting more profitability and more recognisable among customers (Porter-O'Grady and Malloch, 2010). In this objective, a leader also plays an important role by managing its team in appropriate way and giving them required guidance so that all of them can utilise their skills in a best possible way.

Importance of leader in innovation process

In any organisation, there are lot of things which are crucial to achieve overall success of business like proper organisational structure, efficient and latest technologies, a right culture and similar other tools of management. In the views of Bledow, Frese and Mueller, (2011). 21st century is based on making innovations and bring creativity among customers to get maximum success. In this regard it is a fact that this innovation and creativity is not a thing which comes spontaneously. There is a need of a leader who can drive the changes and foster the creativity within organization. They play an important role in changing various common things of a business into creative ones so that an enterprise can attain competitive advantage over rival firms.

The leaders are responsible to bring effectiveness in the company which can lead to the path of success. They implement various strategies and aspects that can help in making their organisation competitive and innovative. For this purpose, the leader use to encourage their team members and guide them in entire process. According to Jean-Marie and Normore, (2010), it is vital for a firm to put a greatly skilled leader at a right place so that innovativeness of an organisation can be managed. As per this need, it is necessary to apply a right leadership model at the workplace so that the leaders can have enough power and authority to develop a strategy that can support innovation and drive encouragement among workers for creativity. It has been discovered that in many instances, the organisations fail to develop the innovative aspects because of lack of leadership with creativity.

Functions of leader in Aston Martin

The leadership is a skill which is not possessed by everyone. It is a potential which helps in getting all the work done in an effective manner along with management of a team spirit (Michaelis, Stegmaier and Sonntag, 2010). It is necessary for a company to apply a right leadership approach to gain benefits of innovation. As per this fact, the most suitable leadership that can fully support the concept of creativity is collaborative leadership.

The stated firm of Aston Martin is also in favour of such leadership approaches who aids in leveraging the innovation and creativity in the firm so as to develop the company in market. The organisation is continuously making innovations in sports car with development of those features which can match the needs of current generation. As a result, it has developed its place in market as a leader in sports car that gives all those features which are innovative and also attractive. The collaborative approach of a leader in this firm gives enough space to all its employees for making their decisions on their own and share their ideas with the leader so as to gain right guidance (Davis and Eisenhardt, 2011).

The leaders have an open communication with teams so that all of them can share their thoughts and creative ideas which can help in making development. Besides this, leaders give encouragement to the ideas and foster more creativity by giving appreciation and rewards for giving useful ideas. Because of all these support and efforts, the company has become successful in launching its various innovative versions of car in modern times.

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Research Methodology

Research philosophy

The research philosophy refers to the ideas and basic assumptions that are followed in any research process. This assumption act as a foundation on which entire research is advanced. This philosophy is of two types Positivism and Interpretivism where positivism is based on making research through quantifiable terms so that any assumption can be proved on the logical base. It does not follow any moral decisions but the rational decisions (Forzano, 2011). On other hand the interpretivism is based on making a study on qualitative basis to make an inquiry over basic assumptions. For this purpose, the human interest in study is integrated to get the results in logical ways. In present study, Interpretivism approach is followed for accomplishing the aims and objectives of study. This will help in taking assumptions for study and proving them on a logical base.

Research approach

The research approach is a way which is undertaken by the researcher in conducted for completing the study. This approach is followed for keeping it as a guideline to design the shape of research. There are two approaches of research which are Inductive and Deductive (Goddard and Melville, 2004). The Inductive approach of study is based on adopting a study method in which the data is collected and a new theory is generated after its analysis. While in deductive approach, it attempts to make a study over already established theory so that a result can be matched with it by testifying. The present study is based on deductive approach according to which the relation between leadership and innovation is studied and proved.

Data collection

The data collection is a procedure through which the researcher make efforts to collects the raw data and convert it into a understandable manner. For this purpose, two approaches are there primary data collection and secondary data collection (Jackson, 2010). As per the primary data collection, the researcher himself collects the data through questionnaire, focussed groups, surveys or observations. While in secondary data collection, books, journals, online sources and previous articles are referred. In the current study, both methods have been applied for collection of data.

Data analysis

The collected data is analysed through various tools and techniques so that a meaningful result can be generated. This can be done through either qualitative or quantitative method of analysis (Johnson and Christensen, 2008). In qualitative analysis, data is analysed through thematic assessment while in quantitative one, the statistical tool of SPSS is implemented. In the present analysis, data has been analysed through qualitative method according to which thematic analysis is done.

Sampling

The sampling is an important step where the researcher makes a large size of population into small one so that a study can be executed in easy manner (Forzano, 2011). In present research the sampling has been done on the basis of purposive sampling where 10 managers of Aston Martin have been contacted for filling the questionnaire.

Ethical consideration

The research is necessary to be undertaken as per the ethical consideration according to which the data must be collected with a complete consent of respondents (Goddard and Melville, 2004). Besides this, in current study, it has been kept in consideration that all collected data is kept in confidential manner. Moreover, all the data collected is based on reliable sources.

Limitations

To face various limitations in the research study is quite common. In current research process, the major limitations was faced in contacting the managers of mentioned organisation (Jackson, 2010). As a result, it has affected the study to some extent. While another limitation is faced in time constraint because of which the adequate number of respondents have not been considered.

Data Analysis

Data analysis- Questionnaire

Theme1: Leadership has an important role in encouraging the innovation in company.

1) Do you think that leadership has an important role in encouraging the innovation in company?

Frequency

Percentage

Definitely

5

50

Rarely

3

30

Definitely not

2

20

Do you think that Leadership has an important role in encouraging the innovation in company?

Leadership role in encouraging the innovation in company

Findings and analysis: The above theme shows the responses of managers at Aston martin according to which it is clear that they are agree about role of leadership in the innovation at company. The responses show that 50% of managers agree that there is an important role of leadership in innovation. About 30% of them have said that the role of leaders is only sometimes helpful in innovation practice. While as per the responses, 20% of managers completely disagree about the role of leadership in innovations.

Theme 2: Employees give their ideas and suggestions based on innovative measures.

2) In your organization, employees give their ideas and suggestions based on innovative measures?

Frequency

Percentage

Yes

4

40

No

2

20

Sometimes

4

40

In your organization, employees give their ideas and suggestions based on innovative measures

Graph represents the ratio of employees who give their ideas and suggestion based on innovative measures

Findings and analysis: As per the responses, it is clear that 40% of managers are agree that the employees take active participation in giving their ideas and suggestions to the company so that it can be used for better innovation practices. While, 40% of managers have agreed that workers take part in this suggestion giving only for sometimes. About 20% of managers have told that they do not find any worker's participation in giving any useful idea for making innovation in organisation.

Theme 3: Encouraging employees for giving creative ideas help the company in making innovation in products.

3) Do you think that encouraging employees for giving creative ideas help the company in making innovation in products?

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

3

30

Agree

3

30

Neutral

2

20

Disagree

1

10

Strongly disagree

1

10

Do you think that encouraging employees for giving creative ideas help the company in making innovation in products?

Pie chart of employees for giving creative ideas in making innovative product

Findings and analysis: The above theme has presented the responses of managers according to which about 6% of managers agree that by encouraging the workers for giving creative ideas in the company, they have been proved useful in making innovative products. About 20% managers in this notion are neutral while 20% of them are completely disagree about it and does not consider any useful role of workers in giving ideas that can help in making innovation in products.

Theme 4: Handling various issues and giving solutions is the major function of leadership in driving innovation at a wider level.

4) What is the major function of leadership in driving innovation at a wider level?

Frequency

Percentage

Providing guidance

3

30

Creating an innovative work environment

2

20

Handling various issues and giving solutions

4

40

Decentralizing the decision making power

1

10

Findings and analysis: The above theme has represented that about 40% managers are in favour of handling issues of employees and giving them solutions is the most helpful function of leadership in driving innovation. While on other hand, about 30% of managers have agreed that providing guidance in work is a better way. Similarly, 10% managers find decentralisation of power and authority for decision making a better way to drive innovation. While 20% managers agree that by creating the innovative environment at workplace, firm can drive innovation in company.

What is the major function of leadership in driving innovation at a wider level?

Graph represents major function of leadership in driving innovation at a wider level

Theme 5: efficient leadership has proved to be of profitable for Aston Martin.

5) Does the efficient leadership has proved to be of profitable for your firm?

Frequency

Percentage

Yes

6

60

No

2

20

Can't say

2

20

Does the efficient leadership has proved to be of profitable for your firm?

Graph represents whether efficient leadership has proved to be profitable for your firm

Findings and analysis: The above theme has discussed about the role of leadership in getting success through innovative practices. As per this, about 60% managers have agreed that through efficient leadership the company has applied good innovative practices and gained profitability. About 20% managers have agreed that they cannot say anything surely while 20% of managers out of 10, have told that there is no role of leadership in getting the profitability by firm.

Conclusion

The present research has been conducted on analysing the role of leader in the innovation application in the business. As per the research, the chosen company is Aston Martin according to which it has been assessed that how company employs leadership style to gain innovativeness in its different functions. The leader plays an important role in managing innovativeness of company in a right direction.

In modern era, it is clear that for a successful survival of the business, it is essential to be creative and innovative in performance. The stated firm of Aston Martin is also in favour of such leadership approaches who aids in leveraging the innovation and creativity in the firm so as to develop the company in market. For this, it is necessary for the firm to be able to cope with changes occurring in market on frequent basis. It has been articulated that with the efficient leadership the firms can effectively manage the innovation practices in their functions.

References

  • Bledow, R., Frese, M. and Mueller, V., 2011. Ambidextrous leadership for innovation: The influence of culture. In Advances in global leadership. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  • Capozzi, M.M., 2010. Leadership and innovation. Development Outreach.
  • Davis, J.P. and Eisenhardt, K.M., 2011. Rotating leadership and collaborative innovation: Recombination processes in symbiotic relationships.Administrative Science Quarterly.
  • Forzano, L.B., 2011. Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences. Cengage Learning.
  • Goddard, W. and Melville, S., 2004. Research Methodology: An Introduction. Juta and Company Ltd.
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