Innovation KPIs in the UAE

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Organizations have always searched for approaches that will bring them with benefits and will give them competitive advantages over their market opponents. Recently, organizations recognized the importance of innovation to their success. Consequently, innovation became one of the success factors to be considered and embedded in strategies. Measuring, monitoring and controlling innovation have always been a challenge. To address this issue, researches recommend using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure organizations’ progress towards their innovation strategies. This research will examine the concept of innovation KPIs in the UAE. It will investigate the level of innovation acknowledgement, innovation triggers and current innovation practices. Furthermore, the research will identify the major factors for innovation KPIs implementation to be considered by organizations seeking to rely on innovation.The literature review will provide detailed understanding on both innovation and KPIs topics. It will explore the benefits and components of innovation. Furthermore, innovation theories, models, practices, and triggers will be studied. Similarly, KPIs benefits, principles, selection criteria and implementation practices will be presented. In addition, the literature review will examine the weaknesses, reasons for KPIs implementation failures and KPIs impact on individual and team effectiveness. At last, the developed model for using KPIs to control and measure innovation will be explained.Three case studies were conducted on organizations representing private and semi-government sectors to investigate the use of innovation KPIs. In addition, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of an innovation institute was interviewed to explore more viewpoints. In general, organizations took substantial steps towards implementing innovation and controlling it by using KPIs; however, the levels of maturity vary from an organization to another.The three organizations had well understanding of innovation and its KPIs; however, their implementation motives and approaches differed. Mostly, organizations specify their innovation goals in their strategy which is controlled by Balanced Score Card KPI implementation methodology. The research showed that this implementation model has positive impacts on individuals and teams, while the negative impacts were limited.The information gathered from the case studies was discussed, analyzed, and compared. Consequently, recommendations and suggestions were provided for the interviewed organizations to improve innovation KPIs practices. The main recommendation provided was to define innovation clearly to standardize its expectation between employees. Similarly, organizations should incorporate innovation in their strategies from which the KPIs are drilled and cascaded to organizational functions. In addition each organization has its specific areas of improvement to be considered to have a comprehensive approach of innovation KPIs implementation.
innovation, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), innovation acknowledgement, innovation triggers