June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
24.41.1 - 24.41.19
A Critical Review of Measures of InnovativenessWith the constant drive for innovation in our economy and the increasing demand to graduatestudents who are more innovative contributors to society, it is little wonder that interest indefining and measuring individual innovativeness is growing. Attempts date back to the 1970s,with some scholars focusing on a general definition and assessment of innovativeness, whiledomain-specific work has tended to focus on consumer behavior. Somewhat surprising is the factthat efforts to define and measure engineering innovativeness as a construct have been few andfar between. Our research aims to rectify this situation through an extended project focused onidentifying and assessing the key factors of engineering innovativeness. Specifically, our workinvolves the development of a socially constructed definition of engineering innovativeness, thevalidation of an instrument (or suite of instruments) to measure engineering innovativeness, andthe creation of a benchmark database of engineering innovativeness among engineering studentsand practitioners.To support our efforts, we conducted a critical review of existing instruments designed to assessinnovative characteristics and/or behaviors in individuals, considering both generalinnovativeness and engineering innovativeness in particular. As examples, assessments ofgeneral innovativeness include the 20-item Innovation subscale (JI) of the Jackson PersonalityInventory , Hurt et al.’s Innovativeness Scale (IS) , and Kirton’s Adaption-InnovationInventory (KAI) . For measuring engineering innovativeness, Fisher et al.’s study of mentalmodels about the personal attributes, skills, processes, and environments required for innovationis enlightening , along with Ragusa’s Engineering Creativity and Propensity for InnovationIndex (EPCII), which is based on ten theoretical constructs that have been partially validatedthrough a pilot study .Our critical review of these and other measures of innovativeness includes an analysis of theirinternal/external point of reference (attribute vs. action), the cognitive component they address(level, style, affect, or resource), and their relevance to different stages of the innovation process.We close our review with recommendations for the development of new assessments forinnovativeness in these categories.1. Fisher, E., Biviji, M., and I. Nair (2011). “New perspectives on teaching innovation to engineers: An exploration of mental models of innovation experts,” Proc. of the 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC.2. Hurt, H. T., Joseph, K., and C. D. Cook (1977). “Scales for the measurement of innovativeness,” Human Communication Research, 4(1): 58-65.3. Jackson, D. N. (1976). Jackson personality inventory manual. Goshen, NY: Research Psychologists Press, Inc.4. Kirton, M. J. (1976). “Adaptors and innovators: A description and measure,” Journal of Applied Psychology, 61(5): 622-629.5. Ragusa, G. (2011). “Engineering creativity and propensity for innovative thinking in undergraduate and graduate students,” Proc. of the 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC.
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