Idea Generation in Highly Institutionalized Fields: A Dual Process Model of Ideation

Marine Agoguè, Eva Boxenbaum

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


The early phase of innovation processes in highly institutionalized fields relies on the capabilities of actors to generate new ideas that break with the field frame. Informed by a dominant logic, a field frame shapes collective cognition and can thus prevent the generation of new ideas and block innovation. An important question facing innovation research is thus how actors can generate ideas that break with the field frame in highly institutionalized fields? To answer this question, we draw on insights into dual process modeling from cognitive sciences. Dual process modeling emphasizes the different nature of the conscious (deliberate) and subconscious (implicit) systems involved in ideation. We further elaborate on how these two systems relate to four streams of research that management scholars evoke to model microprocesses of generating new ideas, namely metaphors, conceptual blending, bricolage and innovative design reasoning. We identify metaphors and bricolage as central to the subconscious system, which play an important role in maintaining the field frame, whereas conceptual blending and innovative design reasoning can be instrumental in generating ideas in the conscious system, thereby potentially enabling actors to generate innovative ideas that break with the field frame. Hence, this paper clarifies processes that unfold at the individual level of analysis during innovation activities and proposes leverages for actors to innovate within highly institutionalized fields.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014: The Power of Words - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 1 Aug 20145 Aug 2014
Conference number: 74


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
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