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implementing evidence-based practice

Downs and Mohr, in their critical evaluation of research on innovation, stated that extreme variances have occurred regularly among the findings of the empirical studies of innovation. They added that the variation of results in the field is beyond interpretation, and despite there being many studies, findings have not been cumulative. Many other scholars have acknowledged Downs and Mohr’s assertion of instability in the results of innovation research. However, in none of those em- pirical studies nor in any conceptual article have the empirical findings been systematically cumulated to confirm that they are actually unstable. Instead, to reduce the perceived instability, researchers have relied on subtheories of organizational innova- tion. Thus, Daft distinguished between administrative and technical innovations; separated the initiation and im- I would like to thank Shanthi Gopalakrishnan for her assistance in coding the studies for this article. This study was supported by the Research Resources Committee of the Graduate School of Management at Rutgers University. 555 This content downloaded from on Wed, 04 Jul 2018 17:49:47 UTC All use subject to 556 Academy of Management Journal September plementation stages of the adoption of innovation; and Aiken, Bacharach, and French (1980) distinguished levels in organizational hierarchies. The primary purpose of most of those studies has been to demonstrate the existence of empirically distinguishable dimensions of innovation and identify their associated determinants. No study, however, has tested the proposed subtheories of innovation in different contexts or compared or evaluated the effectiveness of various dimensions of innovation. Such an evaluation would help determine the moderating power of each dimension, thus providing directions for future research in organizational innovation. The purpose of this study, therefore, was threefold: by a meta-analytic review of the empirical research, I aimed to test the hypothesized rela- tionships between organizational factors and innovation and evaluate the validity of the assumption of instability in the results of innovation research, explore which dimensions of innovation effectively moderate the rela- tionship between innovation and its correlates or determinants, and test some of the existing theories of innovation using the aggregate data. A broader purpose was to identify directions for future empirical research aimed toward developing a contingency theory of organizational innovation.