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Researching the Link Between Organizational Culture and Innovation

Professor Carl Fey from Aalto University has been invited to speak at the 20th Annual April International Academic Conference at HSE Moscow. In his talk, entitled ‘Facilitating Innovation in Companies in Russia: The Role of Organizational Culture’, Professor Fey will present research that he has been conducting with his colleagues on the relationship between organizational culture and innovation.  

‘Management scholars and managers alike have much interest in how to facilitate innovation since innovation has been suggested to be critical for a firm’s long-term survival and performance,’ says Professor Fey. ‘I will begin by presenting results from a meta analysis of what management practices facilitate innovation and show that organizational culture is the management practice which has the largest effect on innovation. A meta analysis is a technique combining the results of past studies and showing what the average result is.’  

Professor Fey will present initial results from a large sample survey-based study of firms in Russia that explores the relationship between organizational culture and innovation. The study is based on nearly 200 companies in Russia in an attempt to be somewhat illustrative of companies in Russia. The research combines both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to provide a fuller understanding of how to facilitate innovation in Russia.  

Rather than taking a general model of organizational culture, the study inductively develops a model of organizational culture for the Russian context and shows which dimensions of organizational culture are most important for facilitating innovation. The study also explores the relationship between organizational culture and innovation to highlight what dimensions of innovation are most important as drivers of innovation in Russia. Finally, Professor Fey will present results from interviews with managers of firms working in Russia to highlight implementation issues related to the study’s findings as the project is still a work in progress.  

Understanding how a firm can be innovative is critical for a firm’s long-term survival and performance. However, facilitating innovation is not an easy task. The days where it was enough just to be first to the market or to have some good connections are past in Russia. Today, how one manages a firm is critical for a firm to be successful, and understanding how to facilitate innovation is a key component of this. Further, as Russia works to move beyond a large dependence on exporting its natural resources and raw materials, innovation takes on a special importance for Russia. Thus, it is of great importance to explore how to facilitate innovation in Russia.  

This year’s April Conference will not be the first that Professor Fey has attended. ‘I look forward to visiting the HSE April conference again,’ he says. ‘I have been impressed with the quality of people HSE has and the quality of research HSE is producing. The large aspirations which HSE has are especially exciting. Clearly HSE is one of the leading places for management research in Russia today.’

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