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Journal cover: Journal of Management History

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Online from: 2006

Subject Area: Management Science/Management Studies

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General management of innovation: lessons from the Shaker community

Document Information:
Title:General management of innovation: lessons from the Shaker community
Author(s):John F. Preble, (Lerner College of Business & Economics, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA), Richard C. Hoffman, (Perdue School of Business, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland, USA)
Citation:John F. Preble, Richard C. Hoffman, (2012) "General management of innovation: lessons from the Shaker community", Journal of Management History, Vol. 18 Iss: 1, pp.24 - 45
Keywords:Creative thinking, General management of innovation, Innovation, Knowledge creation, Learning organizations, Management history, Modern history, Shaker society, Total quality management
Article type:General review
DOI:10.1108/17511341211188637 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to employ the concepts of the general management of innovation to help explain the extraordinary inventiveness of the Shaker religious community.

Design/methodology/approach – Utilizing historical accounts of Shaker philosophy and practice, the paper examines Shaker innovativeness through the lens of the general management of innovation in order to develop a historical interpretation of innovation within the Shaker community.

Findings – It was demonstrated that Shaker society possessed a large number of the organizational characteristics, management practices, and values, which have subsequently been found to be positively related to innovative behaviors in modern institutions.

Research limitations/implications – Future research should examine in even greater depth specific values, structure, and practices of Shaker communities as well as focusing on key concepts in other fields such as product, operations, or R&D management to yield additional insights into the management of innovation within organizations.

Practical implications – The paper discusses several managerial actions derived from an examination of Shaker practices related to the general management of innovation that are relevant for contemporary organizations.

Originality/value – This study uses the extant history of Shaker society to examine, illustrate, and help explain contemporary general management of innovation. This exposition should help inform organizations interested in improving their efforts at spurring successful innovation.

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