University of Leicester
IMM 12-776 Green Cluley.pdf (155.86 kB)

The field of radical innovation : Making sense of organizational cultures and radical innovation

Download (155.86 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2014-09-18, 08:38 authored by William Green, Robert Cluley
Organic organizational structures and cultures facilitate innovation because they allow organizations to shift their understanding of what a product, service or technology means. Yet, organic organizations may have to instill mechanistic structures and bureaucratic processes if they produce successful radical innovations. Thus, the basis of innovation can be undermined by its consequences. To explore this issue, this paper analyzes data from an ongoing longitudinal case study of a SME digital-design agency that developed a radical innovation for the market research industry. The paper observes that founders of the organization shifted their position to become managers as a result of their radical innovation and that other members of the organization have, consequently, re-evaluated their attitude toward the organization. To conceptualize our findings we turn to the work of Pierre Bourdieu. His notion of fields-which structure experiences and are, themselves, structured by experiences-offers a framework to understand the dynamics within an organization that occur as a result of a successful radical innovation. The contribution of our paper is: theoretically, we relate the discussion of innovation to wider social theories of practice and, thus, introduce temporal and cultural dynamics into the account of radical innovation; methodologically, we provide an example of a longitudinal study; and, in managerial terms, we indicate where divisions occur within an organization concerning the construction of meaning between managers and employees after a radical innovation.



Industrial Marketing Management, 2014 (in press)

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/School of Management


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Industrial Marketing Management





Copyright date


Available date


Publisher version


The file associated with this record is embargoed until 36 months after the date of publication. The final published version may be available through the links above.



Usage metrics

    University of Leicester Publications