Research news

Visible contribution to knowledge about constant innovation

Publish Date: 19.12.2019

Category: Outstanding research achievements, Interdisciplinary research

Although creativity and innovation are among the most important strategic priorities of modern organisations, empirical meta-analyses show that we do not sufficiently master innovation processes and platforms. Establishing the right balance between stability and change is vital.

 Authors: Miha Škerlavaj, Spencer Harrison, Arne Carlsen

Researchers from the University of Ljubljana School of Economics and Business (Miha Škerlavaj), INSEAD (Spencer Harrison) and BI Norwegian Business School (Arne Carlsen) studied creative and innovative processes, and decided to focus on the film industry, in which these elements are fundamental to its operation. They analysed the Marvel film universe, a portfolio of 22 films with extraordinary commercial success and recognised high quality in the first decade from their production. They gathered data on the inputs, processes and results of innovation processes within the innovation portfolio. Big data analysis included a wide selection of qualitative and quantitative methods at the intersection of business sciences, management and media studies for an understanding of the balance between stability and change, directed towards constant innovation and a weaving of the universes of innovation, in other words associated innovation portfolios.

 The findings in the article indicate that constant and successful innovation requires finding the right balance between stability and change. The authors build on the generally accepted certainty that change is the ‘only constant’ for innovation. They offer science and experts in the field of innovation four rules with supporting examples from other, more traditional sectors of the business world (including Slovenian examples), which determine how it is possible to achieve and implement constant innovation of a portfolio of associated and changeable products. The realisations are therefore generally applicable and potentially interesting for all organisations that are seeking to raise added value per employee through innovation and activation of intellectual property.

 The published article is an exceptional achievement also because it is only the second instance of the publication of a Slovenian author in the Harvard Business Review (HBR), and the first since 1983. HBR is an academic journal with an impact factor of 5.7 (which in the area of business sciences means the very top), with over 8 million regular readers around the world, and is published in 12 languages. The achievement is even greater given that the article on the universes of innovation at Marvel is highlighted on the front cover as one of the three main articles, and in several editions as the headline article in the journal.

 Source: Harrison S., Carlsen A., Škerlavaj M. Marvel's Blockbuster Machine: How the studio balances continuity and renewal. Harvard Business Review, 97 (2019), 134-145.

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