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Todt, Gisa; Weiss, Matthias; Högl, Martin (2018): Mitigating Negative Side Effects of Innovation Project Terminations: The Role of Resilience and Social Support. In: Journal of Product Innovation Management, Vol. 35, No. 4: pp. 518-542
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Abstract

A substantial portion of innovation projects are terminated before their successful completion. However, how specifically innovators can be supported given the experience of a project termination is not well understood. Innovator resilience potential (IRP) has been proposed to be important for future innovative behavior and coping and is suspected to be influenced by project terminations and their characteristics. Building on these assumptions, three sources of social support are examined, as such the support from family and friends, from the leader, from the organization, and their relationship with IRP. Moreover, it is argued that IRP, in turn, is an important facilitator of the project commitment of innovators, who have experienced an innovation project termination. The authors examine these theoretical expectations based on two empirical studies. After probing the newly developed measure of IRP based on a sample of 146 software developers from a European software company, the authors test the hypotheses on a survey-based sample of 238 innovators, of whom 180 had experienced an innovation project termination. The results indicate that IRP positively relates to innovators' current project commitment, particularly when they had experienced an innovation project termination before. Moreover, it is found that experiencing social support from the leader and the organization in the context of the termination positively relates to IRP, while no such a relationship was found for social support from family and friends. This hints at ways as to how to support innovators during and after an innovation project termination, showing that social support from work-related sources is most important in such situations.