Analysis of Directing the Innovation Process and its Relation to Middle Level Manager’s Work: the Case of Estonian Enterprises
In the process of innovation learning in the organisation (individually and as a team) plays an important role. Many entrepreneurs underestimate and dedicate little energy and time to formulating teams where members’ skills complement one another; and also do not engage in improving their own managerial abilities (Fitzsimons, 2002). One has to know how to gather and analyse information, make balanced decisions and constantly find new solutions in order to support the success of a business in a demanding and fast-changing world of technology. The mid-level manager can also support innovation and contribute to the innovative culture in the company. In the analysis of directing innovation process this article derives from the concept of learning organisation. The model and questionnaire were based on the five discipline model (Senge, 1990) and the three-dimension model of organisational development framework − “3-D model” (Mets, 2002). The study covers the years of 2005– 2008; the questionnaire was filled out by 573 employees from different companies in Estonia. The study of different samples delineates different patterns of a learning organisation. Based on factor analysis, it became clear that the patterns of characteristics are substantially different for companies whose learning is based on employees or managers. From the analysis of free-form answers in the questionnaire it came out that if the company lacks a clear vision the employees are unable to connect their development with the enterprise, information does not travel between different levels without hindrances, and learning in organisation is less structured for employees than for managers. One of the conclusions of this study is that the perception of an enterprise as a learning organisation is more simplistic for employees than for managers. Therefore the role of mid-level managers in directing the development of their direct subordinates is more important than it has been realised thus far. Mid-level managers have to learn the skill of communicating the strategy of the company to the employees and conveying the ideas and views from the bottom to the top management. The development of the learning organisation is one precondition for directing the innovation process; for that the author of the article proposes a new model of a motivational cycle.