Activity theory as a lens for Corporate Managerial Innovation: A Proposed Systematic Framework for Military Managerial Innovation

Mostafa Mohamad, Abdulaziz Eldarmi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This paper offers a systematic framework for Managerial Innovation (MI) that could be used in the military context as a significant public sector. The corporate sector and public sector have different characteristics, which create different internal environment and capacity to dynamically change to the surrounding environment. Strategy and Innovation science has always been a military endowment. However, the last four decades have witnesses unprecedented evolution of MI in the corporate sector than the military sector. This gap has been pointed out in Shultz (2016) and yet to be addressed.In this paper, the authors offer a systematic literature review to highlight the subjects, objects, tools, and outcomes of corporate MI. Then it proposes the activity theory as a conceptual lens to narrow down the gap between the corporate sector and military sector in understanding and practicing MI. Alternative innovation theories (including, innovation diffusion, open innovation, and inclusive innovation) have been reviewed and a gap has been found towards a systemic theoretical lens. Karanasios & Allen (2013) presented the activity theory a systemic lens to manage the public-sector decision-making activities in contaminating Chernobyl nuclear power disaster. Aiming to extend this attempt, our study offers a military perspective of MI activities that could be applied by the public sector in countries where the corporate sector does not have enough capacity to serve the economic ambition. This paper offers a pathway for military MI and encourage its contribution towards economy by enhancing their subjects, objects, tools, and outcomes. It offers transplants from the corporate sector to push new blood of MI in the military and overall public sector institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the British Academy of Management
Subtitle of host publicationInnovation for Sustainable Future
PublisherBritish Academy of Management
Number of pages27
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Apr 2020


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