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Leaders' Fostering of Innovation: A Phenomenological Study in Small Successful U.S. Biopharmaceuticals Open Access

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Abstract of DissertationThis study revealed leaders' experiences in fostering innovation. The study, a qualitative inquiry, used the psychological phenomenological approach to gain insights from the perspective of ten leaders from a small group of successful U.S. biopharmaceutical companies. The theoretical lens or basis for this research included elements of leadership theory, with focus on transformational leadership and the use of questions, organizational culture, participation, structuring, reflection, creativity and other points from the extant literature that related to leaders fostering innovation. The themes presented here emerged from the collecting of interview data, with the aid of the theoretical underpinnings. The data included coding from works in leadership (Sashkin & Sashkin, 2005), leader use of questions (Marquardt, 2005) and organizational culture (Hatch, 1997). The study's overarching question was: What is the lived-experience of leaders in respect to fostering innovation within the smaller successful biotech companies they lead? The study offers three main conclusions developed from 12 insightful themes. The main findings included: (a) elements of visionary leadership (Sashkin & Sashkin, 2003) and leaders' use of questions (Marquardt, 2005) operated concurrently in fostering innovation; (b) leadership elements vary in their relative importance depending on the circumstance; (c) leaders' Purposeful Involvement helps to drive innovation; and (d) a broader conceptualization of leading contributes to innovation. Leaders' purposeful involvement is further explained. Other points salient to leaders' fostering of innovation are also discussed.Keywords: Fostering innovation, leadership, creativity, inquiry, question, organizational culture, problem solving, action learning, transformational, ambidextrous, biotechnology, biomedical, life science, pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical.

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