13. Organizational Innovation Is a Participative Process

  1. D. Douglas Caulkins2 and
  2. Ann T. Jordan3
  1. Morten Levin

Published Online: 2 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118325513.ch13

A Companion to Organizational Anthropology

A Companion to Organizational Anthropology

How to Cite

Levin, M. (2012) Organizational Innovation Is a Participative Process, in A Companion to Organizational Anthropology (eds D. D. Caulkins and A. T. Jordan), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118325513.ch13

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell, USA

  2. 3

    University of North Texas, USA

Author Information

  1. Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 2 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 29 OCT 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405199827

Online ISBN: 9781118325513



  • change management;
  • organizational change;
  • organizational innovations;
  • participative process;
  • three-stage model


The perspective in this chapter is that continual change of an organization is the normal situation. This perspective also frames the theory of science arguments for understanding organizational innovations through the lenses of constructivism. Kurt Lewin's three-stage model for organizational change had an overwhelming impact on conceptualizing organizational innovations. The conceptualization of participative innovation processes and the power inherent in such processes have hopefully been consistent and convincing. In order to show that planned participative change approaches can be achieved in everyday working life, two examples from Norwegian work life are presented. The first example is a tool-making factory in central Norway. The other example is from a municipal administration from a small town in southern Norway that employs some 3000 persons. The two examples clearly show how participative processes create organizational innovations that are both flexible (ability to continually change) and operationally effective (good quality of product and services).