Recognising Opportunities: A Case Study on Fostering a Culture of Innovation Through Individual and Collective Ownership

Lysanne Beekhof, Mark van Vuuren

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

4 Downloads (Pure)


Every innovation in organisations starts with recognising the opportunity to improve one’s way of working. Feeling psychological ownership for such innovative work behaviours can be identified for individuals (i.e. ‘this task is mine’) and collectives (i.e. ‘this task is ours’). Our question was how teams can be encouraged to pay attention to opportunity sources. We designed a team intervention which was aimed at fostering a culture of opportunity recognition and active promotion of individual and collective ownership. In this chapter, we summarise the project, explore the enablers and barriers for innovative work behaviour and ownership, and translate its outcomes into suggestions for multi-cultural teams. Five teams from three organisations took part in the intervention. We assessed the impact of the intervention through observations, interviews and a survey to see what was learned, how this was applied in daily activities, and to what extent these activities led to valuable results for the organisation. Overall, the majority of the participants experienced individual and collective ownership for opportunity recognition during and after the intervention. We learned that several factors can enable or impede employees to develop attitudes of ownership, including organisational characteristics like culture and leadership. Developing individual and collective ownership calls for access to at least one of the identified three routes to ownership. Interventions like these can help to let ownership to emerge. Knowing that the enablers and barriers show that more structural organisational aspects enable or impede ownership, we summarise how organisations can foster ownership-encouraging circumstances.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheoretical Orientations and Practical Applications of Psychological Ownership
EditorsChantal Olckers, Llewellyn van Zyl, Leoni van der Vaart
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-70247-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-70246-9
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Recognising Opportunities: A Case Study on Fostering a Culture of Innovation Through Individual and Collective Ownership'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this