Brett Richards, Fielding's School of Psychology
This study examines theoretical factors that influence an organization’s ability to innovate and presents as well the development and introduction of an empirical tool called the Innovation Quotient Inventory (INQ-I) which assesses, in practice, an organization’s overall innovative capability.
Organizations are viewed as uniquely positioned cognitive systems striving to achieve intelligent action. The presence of an underlying cognitive architecture is examined through the introduction and quantitative examination of a new theoretical model used to uncover an organization’s cognitive, or archic style. Distinct from individual and group cognitive styles, an organization’s archic style is studied to determine how it might influence an organization’s ability to innovate.
The findings demonstrate that the INQ-I offers a reliable and valid approach to assessing an organization’s innovative capability. Viewing innovation as a whole-system phenomenon offers organizations a unique perspective to understanding the factors that influence its overall innovative potential.
The findings also point to the presence of an underlying cognitive architecture which serves to shape and direct an organization’s approach to innovation. Further, the results indicate that it is possible and instructive to make an organization’s cognitive architecture explicit through the expression of its archic (cognitive) style.
Key words: Organizational innovation, cognition, cognitive styles, cognitive strategies, organizational systems, open adaptive systems, cognitive complexity, organizational change, innovation and affect, organizational effectiveness.