9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN09 Economic Sociology

2009-09-05 11:00:00 2009-09-05 12:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 11:00 - 12:30 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Building AA, AA.228

Leadership and innovation in economic organisations

This paper aims to discuss the results from a national research that focuses on the relations between leadership and innovation in economic organisations.
Innovation is, on its multiple forms, one of the ways of the countries economic modernization and sustained development, but the decision behind its implementation depends on the social actors that lead the economic organisations. In this way, we will present the organizational and biographical factors that can either ease or hinder the innovation process by comparing companies that innovate with companies that don?t innovate, in different economic sectors and in different regions of Portugal. Also, special attention will be given to decision making process in innovation contexts.
This research uses qualitative methods (in-depth interviews) and quantitative methods (sociological inquiry), mixing qualitative and quantitative data analysis (from questionnaire, interviews and statistics).
The field work was developed in cooperation with GPEARI/MCTES. This partnership allowed us to have access to data from CIS_2006, regarding technological and organizational innovations, as well as the opportunity to build an autonomous questionnaire focusing on leadership launched with the CIS_2006 questionnaire.
This study is financed by FCT (PPCDT/SOC/58363/2004) and is developed by a research team from SociNova/CesNova - FCSH/UNL.
Results show that companies that innovate have certain organizational characteristics that distinguish them, as well as leadership specificities. Innovation is more likely to occur in bigger companies (more than 50 workers) of Lisboa/Setúbal that also have both, national and international markets. Their leaders have high educational degrees, are the company managers (and not their owners) and favour new ideas as their action rationality.