The Role of Implementation Leadership in Driving Organizational Innovation – Revisiting a Classic

Thomas Skovgaard*, Jonas Vestergaard Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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In this article, we discuss the importance of leadership when implementing innovations. A particular focus point is the seminal work by Everett Rogers on the spread and upkeep of new ideas. Furthermore, we examine current scientific works on implementation leadership in relation to initiating and maintaining health enhancing physical activity programs. Among other things, we point out how many people and groups are sympathetic towards new innovations if they meet a recognized need, contribute to relevant developments, make sense in concrete situations, and can be mastered individually and collectively. Implementation leaders need to ensure that premises such as these are met while taking into account that innovations are absorbed at different speeds and ways by different stakeholders. Rogers' five adopter categories can be used by implementation leaders to develop effective change communication that is meaningful to differentiated groups. First-line leaders can, for instance, use their dense knowledge of the organization's needs and circumstances to support staff and manage stakeholders during the implementation process. Delegating substantial implementation responsibility to early adopters can also prove beneficial in keeping the process on track.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCollegium Antropologicum
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)75-80
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© 2023, Croatian Anthropological Society. All rights reserved.


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