Innovation at work is mainly driven by employees' ideas. This paper reports a study of the effectiveness (e.g., rate of suggestion making) of schemes for capturing these ideas. Based on a survey of 182 UK organizations, the study shows that decentralized suggestion schemes and work-based systems are more effective than centralized and informal schemes. The extent of planning, publicity, feedback and management support given to the scheme, and the type of reward offered to employees, also independently account for variation in effectiveness. Publicity and non-monetary rewards, though, are found to be most decisive, regardless of scheme type. Learning culture also affects the rate of suggestion making, though the effect is greater for centralized and decentralized schemes than for the others. The key implication of the findings is that by paying particular attention to how they are advertised and how participation is rewarded, organizations could improve the return on their idea capture schemes.
Idea capture schemes, suggestion schemes, quality circles, effectiveness
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