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Lead.Inno 2020 : Leadership for Innovation


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Submission Deadline Nov 15, 2020
Categories    leadership   innovation   education   change

Call For Papers

Leadership, Education, Personality: An Interdisciplinary Journal invites article submissions for a special issue on the topic of Leadership for Innovation. Submissions can be made in English or German. For more information about the journal and to submit online, please visit the journal’s homepage:

Nowadays, innovations are crucial to an organization´s long-term growth and survival (Tucker, 2008, as cited in Xu et al. 2006). But more important than organizational survival, innovations are the one and only instrument to deal with the changes that our world currently faces. The world is undergoing sweeping change including society, the state, politics, the media, culture, and business. Humanity is strongly influenced by digital and biological transformation, overpopulation, and challenges concerning power supply. Therefore, the current generation is experiencing drastic consequences like climate change, species extinction, and deforestation. But mostly, humanity is passively watching its own downfall.
History teaches us that there are revolutionary innovations that have changed our lives for the better. But those innovations don't just come out of nowhere. Humanity and the whole planet need personalities who take charge of the current challenges. Simply thinking (or talking) about new technical opportunities, about reduced pollution or about sustainability is not enough. An innovation is a good idea that has become value-creating reality (Faix et al., 2015). And there are several ways to introduce innovations. This is already clearly stated in J. A. Schumpeter´s definition as early as 1934: “to produce other things, or the same things by a different method, means to combine these materials and forces differently” (Schumpeter, 1934, pp. 65–66). Innovation “[…] is no longer restricted to R&D laboratories and to published scientific papers. Innovation could be and is more general and horizontal in nature, including social, business model, and technical innovation” (Dutta et al., 2019, p. 205). Even if the degree of novelty does not say anything about the value of the respective innovation, radical innovations in particular are regarded as powerful (Faix et al., 2015). Furthermore, Szekely and Strebel (2013) distinguish between incremental, radical and game-changing innovations.
But organizations tend to further engage in activities they are already competent in. And “[…] most large companies are genetically programmed to preserve the status quo. They do not have the right organization, culture, leadership practices, or personnel to collect and successfully commercialize radical new idea” (Stringer, 2000, p. 71).

(Radical) innovations as a leadership responsibility
Innovations are possible in every part of an organization and they are needed in every part (Faix et al., 2015), meaning that innovations can be developed by any employee of an organization on every hierarchical level. Nevertheless, there are some conditions that determine whether the idea will be implemented or not. Research has shown that especially senior managers of a company play a crucial role in fostering or impeding innovations (Damanpour & Schneider, 2006), but their detailed influence is less researched (Anderson et al., 2014). Research until now has so far focused on leadership styles such as transformational, transactional leadership, and leader-member-exchange (LMX), while mostly disregarding the personality of leaders (Hughes et al., 2018).
Recognizing that leaders are the main decision makers, there are several traits that are important for leaders within the digital age: the ability to identify relevant technologies, the ability to implement a culture of innovation management, and the ability to create new business models (Sikora, 2017). This means that a leader is responsible for realizing innovations and must establish conditions to facilitate the innovative ability of employees. In this context, the term 'entrepreneurial leadership' is used, meaning leaders who promote innovation in order to deal with velocity and uncertainty (Surie & Ashley, 2008). Therefore, entrepreneurship education should be included in leadership education programs and vice versa. Despite the personal commitment of leaders, “[…] certain organizational structures facilitate the successful implementation of radical innovations. The number of layers in the hierarchy should be few to create an environment where decision-making can be pushed down the organization to the people best equipped to make them quickly and effectively. Organizations should have a high level of horizontal integration where workers have a broad rather than a narrow understanding of problems and issues” (Nahm et al., 2003, p. 297). The implementation of such organizational structures is a leadership task as well.
There are companies and organizations which are known for their innovative culture in the sense of continuous innovation. Google Inc. is a good example. In their study, Steiber and Alänge (2013) found that “[…]leaders directed their teams, but they also encouraged innovations by acting as connectors, cultural ambassadors, and facilitators for innovation. Google’s leadership was described as a 'bottom-up leadership in parallel with an overall direction provided from a top management perspective.' In order to encourage and sustain innovations, leaders were carefully selected, both during the hiring process and through the internal promotion system” (Steiber & Alänge, 2013, p. 255). The leader selection process is pivotal as “leadership selection affects both the leader’s performance as well as the performance of all associated followers” (Carnes et al., 2015, p. 360). In this context, it is noteworthy that the popular assessment center has lost its validity (Joyce et al., 1994; Schuler, 2017), which is why other tools are needed to assess the performance of a leader and his or her future perspectives.

Measuring innovativeness
As innovations are crucial to an organization’s performance and its future possibilities, there is interest in “[…] measuring innovative activity and innovative capability [with] statistically useable material” (Faix et al., 2015, p. 106). Unfortunately, neither the company´s expenditures on R&D nor the number of patents is a decisive factor for the innovation capabilities or the financial growth of an organization (Faix et al., 2015). As presented in the review by Hughes et al. (2018), most of the measures currently used have several shortcomings, therefore, new tools need to be developed for a precise measurement.
Furthermore, “[t]he field would benefit from measures that offer nuanced assessment of creative and innovative processes […] to assess how employees create/innovate in order to build meaningful training programmes and interventions” (Hughes et al., 2018, p. 563). This demonstrates that there is a need to include innovation capability into contemporary leadership education.

For the special issue of 'Leadership, Education, Personality: An Interdisciplinary Journal' we are seeking contributions on the theoretical knowledge and professional practice in this field. Research that sheds light on this area may include topics dealing with, but not limited to the following:
• Leadership & disruptive / radical innovations and transformation
• The future of leadership in higher education
• Leadership development in companies and organizations
• Performance-based leadership selection processes
• Role of leadership personality
• Influence of performance on leadership
• Methods to measure and assess innovation
• Personality aspects for being innovative
• Leader personalities that foster innovative behavior of employees
• Approaches toward educational aspects to improve creative / innovative competencies
• Examples of organization which implemented a successful continuous innovation culture
• New study designs for the field such as experimental design or longitudinal studies

Submission information
• Further information:
• All papers will be subject to double-blind peer review
• Authors should follow the instructions provided on the website
• Contributions in German or English are possible and should be submitted via the website
• Deadline: 15. November 2020
• Questions can be addressed to:

• Anderson, N., Potočnik, K., & Zhou, J. (2014). Innovation and Creativity in Organizations. Journal of Management, 40 (5), 1297–1333.
• Carnes, A., Houghton, J. D., & Ellison, C. N. (2015). What matters most in leader selection? The role of personality and implicit leadership theories. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 36 (4), 360–379.
• Damanpour, F., & Schneider, M. (2006). Phases of the Adoption of Innovation in Organizations: Effects of Environment, Organization and Top Managers1. British Journal of Management, 17 (3), 215–236.
• Dutta, S., Lanvin, B., & Wunsch-Vincent, S. (2019). Global Innovation Index 2019 – 12th Edition, 205.
• Faix, W. G., Mergenthaler, J., Ahlers, R.‑J., & Auer, M. (2015). Innovationquality: The value of the new (1st edition). Steinbeis-Edition.
• Faix, W. G., Mergenthaler, J., Ahlers, R.‑J., & Auer, M. (2014). InnovationsQualität. Über den Wert des Neuen (1. Auflage). Steinbeis-Edition.
• Hughes, D. J., Lee, A., Tian, A. W., Newman, A., & Legood, A. (2018). Leadership, creativity, and innovation: A critical review and practical recommendations. The Leadership Quarterly, 29 (5), 549–569.
• Joyce, L. W., Thayer, P. W., & Pond, S. B. (1994). Managerial functions: An alternative to traditional assessment center dimensions? Personnel Psychology, 47 (1), 109–121.
• Nahm, A. Y., Vonderembse, M. A., & Koufteros, X. A. (2003). The impact of organizational structure on time-based manufacturing and plant performance. Journal of Operations Management, 21 (3), 281–306.
• Schuler, H. (2017). Spielwiese für Laien? Weshalb das Assessment-Center seinem Ruf nicht mehr gerecht wird. Wirtschaftspsychologie Aktuell (2), 27–30.
• Schumpeter, J. A. (1934). The Theory of Economic Development.
• Sikora, H. (2017). Digital Age Management: Führung im digitalen Zeitalter. E & I Elektrotechnik Und Informationstechnik, 134 (7), 344–348.
• Steiber, A., & Alänge, S. (2013). A corporate system for continuous innovation: the case of Google Inc. European Journal of Innovation Management, 16 (2), 243–264.
• Stringer, R. (2000). How to Manage Radical Innovation. California Management Review, 42 (4), 70–88.
• Surie, G., & Ashley, A. (2008). Integrating Pragmatism and Ethics in Entrepreneurial Leadership for Sustainable Value Creation. Journal of Business Ethics, 81 (1), 235–246.
• Szekely, F., & Strebel, H. (2013). Incremental, radical and game-changing: strategic innovation for sustainability. Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, 13 (5), 467–481.
• Tucker, R. B. (2008). Driving growth through innovation: How leading firms are transforming their futures (2. ed., rev. and updated.). Berrett-Koehler.
• Xu, Q., Chen, J., Xie, Z., Liu, J., Zheng, G., & Wang, Y. (2006). Total Innovation Management: a novel paradigm of innovation management in the 21st century. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 32 (1-2), 9–25.

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