Special Issue Journal on Values

We are pleased to announce an IJIM Special Issue on Managing Values for Innovation with Henning, Prof. Florian Luedeke-Freund and Prof. John Bessant, as guest editors.

Innovation management researchers and practitioners increasingly attend to the role that values and normative orientations play for innovation and its management (Breuer & Lüdeke-Freund, 2017a, 2017b; Globocnik et al., 2020; Pedersen et al., 2018). In many cases, innovation cannot be well understood, designed or managed without recurring to the values of those involved (cf. Freeman & Auster, 2015). Newer streams of research, such as responsible, social and sustainable innovation, result from an explicit orientation towards values and normative orientations (e.g., Adams et al., 2016; Lubberink et al., 2017; Owen et al., 2013). Values of privacy, equity, justice, safety and further issues humans deeply care about can serve as sources, levers, and orientation marks for innovation. Notions related to this ‘normative turn’ include responsible innovation, social innovation, sustainable innovation and purpose-driven business, just to name a few (e.g., Owen et al., 2013; Rey et al., 2017; Stilgoe et al., 2013).

This special issue focuses on managing, for example, personal, organisational or cultural values in relation to innovation, within and across individual organisations (networks) (Breuer & Lüdeke-Freund, 2017a, 2017b). Large companies like IBM have successfully worked with employee values to refresh their innovation activities and to foster intrapreneurship. Young companies like the online search engine Ecosia established an innovation culture based on core values. And social mission-driven businesses like Aravind Eye Care Systems developed new business models to turn their founders’ values and visions into reality. Depending on how values are managed, i.e. explored, understood and applied as sources, levers and orientation marks for innovation, they open up or foreclose opportunities for innovation research and practice.

However, reviewing the current literature reveals gaps in terms of empirical cases, applicable methods for researchers and practitioners and theoretical frameworks. Only few studies investigated, for example, the impact of values on financial or innovation performance, or found indicators for a positive relationship between organisational values, business model innovation and corporate financial performance (e.g., Globocnik et al., 2020; Manohar & Pandit, 2014; Pedersen et al., 2018). Accordingly, our knowledge about the normative turn in innovation research and management and the correspondingly emerging values-based view on innovation is still scarce. As a consequence, a common language and perspective for framing, analysing and communicating about how values can be managed for innovation is missing.
Invited contributions

We invite researchers from various fields such as innovation management, business and management studies, cultural studies, organisational psychology, sociology or ethnography. We are interested in, for example:

  • Empirical studies: Cases of values-based innovation in practise and evidence-based assessment of their impact.
  • Innovation research methods: Analytical and empirical methods to elaborate upon the role of values in business organisations and their innovation projects and management.
  • Innovation facilitation methods: How to work with values in innovation management and entrepreneurial settings. Success factors and failure in the design of facilitation methods and assessment of their impacts.
  • Theoretical contributions: Theoretical frameworks explaining in how far values motivate and guide innovation and its management.


Possible research questions include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Phenomenology: How do values impact and direct innovation and its management within individual firms or across organisations? How do organisations operationalize global values such as safety or privacy in order to initiate, manage or evaluate product, service or business model innovations? How do they recognize and integrate different stakeholders’ values (e.g. customers, innovation teams, external stakeholders etc.) into innovation processes?
  • Methodology: How can we empirically investigate converging or diverging values among entrepreneurs or stakeholders of an innovation process (e.g. customers, employees, managers, society)? How to study values on different analytical levels (e.g. individual, organisational, institutional, societal or global), including comparative and quantitative studies and the assessment of values’ impacts on innovation on these levels?
  • Facilitation Methods: How can new methods such as gamification facilitate the values-based creation of new products, services, business models or networks? How to reframe existing methodologies and methods (e.g. from ethnography or scenario management) to leverage the potential of values for innovation?
  • Theory: Which theoretical concepts from business ethics, organisational psychology, sociology or ethnology contribute to understanding the roles and impact of values on innovation management? How to estimate, manage and measure the diverse impacts of values-based innovation (incl. e.g. ecological, social, cultural and economic impacts).


Tentative timeline
The final set of papers shall be ready approx. 18 months after initial submission. Authors considering submitting to this IJIM special issue must make sure that they are able to follow the special issue schedule:

  • Full paper submission: between 1st July and 31st October 2020
  • Initial review: December 2020
  • Revised papers: March 2021
  • Second review: June 2021
  • Revised papers: September 2021
  • Handing in papers for final review by IJIM and production: November 2021

Papers that are ready for publication will be published on an ongoing basis (online first), before the special issue volume will be finally compiled.

Submission procedure
We invite original, full-length research papers up to 40 pages (incl. references and appendices, excl. cover page and abstract; 12pt. Times-like fonts, 1.5 spacing). All authors must use the online submission system of IJIM and follow the journal’s submission guidelines (https://www.worldscientific.com/page/ijim/submission-guidelines).
Paper development workshops at ISPIM 2020 and NBM 2020
Authors considering submitting to this special issue might as well join the paper development workshops taking place at ISPIM 2020 (“Innovating Our Common Future” with a SIG on Values-Based and Sustainable Innovation), 8/9thth June 2020, and NBM 2020 (“New Business Models – Sustainable, Circular, Inclusive)”, 1st/2nd July 2020. For submission details see the conference websites. In parallel to submitting through the conference systems, please send your conference papers to h.breuer(at)hmkw.de and fluedeke-freund(at)escpeurope.eu. The special issue guest editors will use the paper development workshops to help prospective contributors to develop their papers further.