Original Article


Towards a deeper understanding of how champions influence the allocation of resources to innovation

Maarten E.J. Rutten, Andre G. Doree, and Johannes I.M. Halman  



Previous research indicates that the presence of a champion in an innovation project increases the likelihood that firms will allocate resources to the innovation project. Relatively little is, however, known about how champions’ presence exactly influences resource allocation. A case study of two innovation projects in the construction industry was conducted to further explore this question. The findings suggest that it is not so much champions’ presence as such, but one of champions’ prototypical behaviours that influences firms’ willingness to allocate resources. Here we refer to champions’ expression of enthusiasm and confidence about the success of an innovation. Further, the findings suggests that the effect might be explained by the mediating role of firms’ expectations of the rate of adoption. Overall, the case study provides a step towards a deeper understanding of how champions induce firms to allocate resources to innovation projects. 

Keywords:      Champions, innovation, resource allocation