The present paper lists the management constraints that impact on innovation in business
firms. Some of
these constraints may thwart innovation, or make it slower, others may accelate the
process or increase the number of innovations in the firm, others still may influence
the nature of the innovations which the firm will endeavour. Only management constraints
are considered here, i.e those constraints pertaining to the interface between intention
and really implemented action, as well as those influencing the intention in a partially
predictible manner. The related interfaces may be formalized (e.g. management tools
and methods like the business plan), they may be partially or totally informal (e.g.
the power system, or the innovation process itself). It may be that some of, or all
the actors in the innovation do not perceive, or perceive with a bias, the very existence
of the constraint, i.e. of the link it has with innovation.
The first part of the paper is devoted to the constraints that impinge upon senior
managers, lower level managers and others involved in the innovation process (paragraphs
1 and 2). The constraints are then viewed from an organizational standpoint (what
they are in different types of organizational structures, what is the contribution
of different organizational vital systems), and through models of the innovation
process produced by empirically valid organization research (paragraphs 3 and 4).
The paper ends with some considerations on the origin of innovative ideas and on
the usefulness of constraints for innovation.