Radical or incremental innovation adoption: do demographics and the frequency and form of innovation matter?

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Cigdem Kaya


This study aims to describe managers’ adoption of radical and incremental innovation based on managers’ and organisations’ demographics, and forms and frequencies of innovation. With this purpose, data collected from 161 managers who work for companies operating in various industries have been analysed. According to our findings, there is a significant difference between men and women with respect to their adoption of incremental or radical innovation. Female managers adopt incremental innovation 71.7%, whereas male counterparts adopt incremental innovation 50%; female managers adopt radical innovation 28.3%, whereas male counterparts adopt radical innovation 50%. Another significant difference is found among the frequencies of applying innovation (apply innovation consistently, apply innovation occasionally and apply innovation rarely). Data indicate that the companies that are applying innovations consistently adopt incremental innovation rather than adopting radical innovation. In the companies applying innovations occasionally, percentages of adoption of incremental and radical innovation are equal to each other. Radical innovation percentage is relatively higher by 69% compared to incremental innovation percentage at the companies that apply innovations rarely. Managerial implications of our findings and directions for future research are discussed.

Keywords: Radical innovation adoption, incremental innovation adoption, the frequency of applying innovation, form of innovation, managers’ demographics, organisations’ demographics.


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Kaya, C. (2017). Radical or incremental innovation adoption: do demographics and the frequency and form of innovation matter?. New Trends and Issues Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences, 4(10), 33–42. https://doi.org/10.18844/prosoc.v4i10.3060 (Original work published January 12, 2018)