1st Edition

Making Employee-Driven Innovation Achievable Approaches and Practices for Workplace Learning

Edited By Justina Tan, Wing On Lee Copyright 2024
    202 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    202 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume guides workplace trainers in teaching the significance of Employee-Driven Innovation (EDI) and recognising that each and every employee is capable of being the driver of innovation. Given that innovation has become imperative to unlock competitive advantage, and that employees are increasingly regarded as a quintessential aspect of innovation, this focus on EDI and how to enable it is both necessary and opportune.

    The book is split into three parts: first focusing on helping trainers to address the challenges of getting employees to engage in innovative work besides their regular job tasks. How can organisations instil this mindset in their employees who see themselves as stalwarts of status quo? The book then turns to how organisations can engage employees in innovation, with an accompanying emphasis that the enactment of EDI may not follow a prescribed or planned flow. It then closes by offering real-world examples of the unfolding of EDI in both the Finnish and Singaporean contexts.

    The book is aimed at educating enterprises, both employers and workplace trainers, and adult educators in the practices and approaches to engage employees in innovation. It seeks to bridge, specifically the theory-practice nexus of EDI, and nudge the enterprises and TAE (training and adult education) practitioners that have yet to involve or engage employees systematically in innovation to seriously consider it.

    1. Making Employee-Driven Innovation Achievable: Paving the Way

    Justina Tan and Joel Sim

    2. Innovation Mindsets – A Framework to Understand Employees’ Motivation to Act on Opportunities for Innovation

    Malte Krohn and Cornelius Herstatt

    3. Forging an Innovation Mindset: Practices in Small to Medium Size Enterprises

    Chong Wan Har, Joel Sim, Calvin M. L. Chan and Stephen Billett

    4. Moving Beyond the Innovation Mindset

    Laura McLaughlin and James McLaughlin

    5. Employee Empowerment as a Foundational Approach to Foster Employee-Driven Innovation

    Chukwuemeka Echebiri

    6. Emergence of Employee-Driven Innovation: The Dynamic Interplay of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Processes

    Izabelle Bäckström and Wafa Said Mosleh

    7. Employee Capability and Knowledge as Driving Forces for SMES’ Competitive Advantages

    Sam Boran Li

    8. Employee-Driven Innovation (EDI) in Finland

    Esa Hiltunen

    9. Understanding Employee-Driven Innovation Through Positioning Theory Lens: Insights From Singapore

    Justina Tan

    10. Making EDI Work From Theory to Practice – Encapsulating the Essence

    Wing On Lee and Justina Tan


    Justina Tan is Director of Learning and Professional Development at the Institute for Adult Learning, Singapore University of Social Sciences. She holds Doctor of Education (EdD) degrees from University College London, Institute of Education and Nanyang Technological University. Justina leads the IAL in helping enterprises deepen workplace learning and engage in employee-driven innovation.

    Wing On Lee is the Executive Director of the Institute for Adult Learning and concurrently serves as a professor at the Singapore University of Social Sciences. Before that, he was Distinguished Professor and Director of the International and Comparative Education Research Centre and the Central Plains Education Research Centre at Zhengzhou University. He is the Series Editor of Springer Education Innovation Series; the Routledge Critical Issues in Asian Education series; and Routledge Character, Values and Citizenship Education series. He is former President of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (2010–13). In 2022, he was awarded the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame (IACEHOF), Class 2021, in America.

    This is one of the first comprehensive studies on EDI in an Asian context. The book by Justina Tan and Wing On Lee impresses not only with its scientific foundation but also with its relevance. It thus builds a valuable bridge between research and practice and opens a new chapter in EDI research.

    Peter Kesting, Associate Professor of Strategy and Organizational Behaviour, Aarhus University, Denmark


    Innovation especially EDI is widely recognised and accepted by organisations. The key challenge faced by many leaders is the difficulty of putting in place a pragmatic and sustainable system to support EDI. This book is a much-needed guide on how to translate aspirations into practice.

    Lee Kheng Hock, Senior Consultant, Deputy CEO (Education and Community Partnerships), SingHealth Community Hospitals, Singapore


    Innovation is widely recognised as key to vibrancy, growth and success of organisations. More so if it is embedded in the culture of organisations and imbued in all their employees. Accordingly, EDI should be sought after, but the key challenge faced by many leaders is the difficulty of putting in place a pragmatic and sustainable system to support EDI. This book is a much-needed guide on how to translate aspirations into practice.

    Cheong Hee Kiat, Professor, Founding President of Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), Singapore