The Role of Organizational Vision in Guiding Idea Generation within SME Contexts

Graham Perkins, Jonathan Lean*, Robert Newbery

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


New ideas are required if our organizations are going to survive and grow. Without the ability to think differently, firms can quickly stagnate and decline. A key contributor to the success (or otherwise) of the ideation process is the extent to which organizations provide effective control mechanisms, with existing literature drawing tentative links between this and the subject of organizational vision. The aim of this paper is to explore the control of idea generation in SME contexts, examining the interaction between organizational vision and the guidance of ideation in these settings. Through in-depth qualitative research with a range of SMEs, this study shows that structure in the form of an outlining framework assists in opening a liminal space for ideation. More importantly, this paper provides empirical evidence, which demonstrates that organizational visions provide this framework by acting as a target, assisting the development of relevant ideas. Ideation, within the SME, is argued to be fundamentally subject to, and contingent upon, the direction of the organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-90
Number of pages16
JournalCreativity and Innovation Management
Issue number1
Early online date2 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


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