ICCA and Leeds Beckett develop tool to measure innovation

there is a large body of research on innovation related to many
industrial sectors, little attention has been paid – until now – to the
meetings industry.

gap could close with the release from the International Congress and
Convention Association (ICCA) and the International Centre for Research
in Events, Tourism and Hospitality at Leeds Beckett University in the UK,
of a new tool for measuring the absorptive capacity for innovation of
suppliers in the meetings industry.

A project funded by ICCA
with input from over 200 ICCA member organisations enabled Leeds
Beckett’s team to develop an instrument to measure absorptive capacity
in meetings industry organisations.
The instrument means organisations can track improvements over time and compare their results with their peers.

Rhodri Thomas of the International Centre for Research in Events,
Tourism and Hospitality, Leeds Beckett University, said: “There are many
potential explanations for why some organisations are innovative and
others are not. Factors such as entrepreneurial leadership,
organisational culture and the management of knowledge are often cited
as important variables.

of the most influential ideas to emerge over the past two decades,
however, is the role absorptive capacity plays in innovation.

capacity is the ability to acquire, assimilate, transform and exploit
external knowledge for competitive advantage. The idea is that
competitive organisations are not only able to process knowledge
effectively to innovate but they also have the capacity to use
information that does not directly fill an identifiable gap in

CEO Martin Sirk added: “We were delighted that an ICCA member
university wanted to tackle such a challenging research topic. Our
industry is constantly talking about innovation, but there have been no
objective tools available. Hopefully this innovative project is the
start of a new way of thinking about this important issue.”

meetings industry’s average Absorptive Capacity Score, as suggested by
responses from 208 ICCA members, is 34. A score of 45 or more suggests a
high level of absorptive capacity.

The industry average score conceals a wide range from very low to very high scores.

calculate their absorptive capacity score, meetings industry
organisations can complete the form in an interactive PDF and simply add
up the results: http://www.iccaworld.com/dcps/doc.cfm?docid=1764. These
ten questions are based on previous research on absorptive capacity in
other industries, creating 50 potential questions which were tested and
selectively eliminated to provide the best possible measurement.

the ICCA Research Paper: How innovative is your organisation? –
Including 4 things you could do to improve the absorptive capacity of
your organisation: http://www.iccaworld.com/dcps/doc.cfm?docid=1766.
Do you have news for CN? Email: Paul Colston

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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