Story notes contributed by Alex Vestal, Professor in Management at the UNCW Cameron School of Business.
Alex Vestal, Ph.D. assistant professor of management at UNCW Cameron School of Business recently published “Normalizing vs. analyzing: Drawing the lessons from failure to enhance firm innovativeness” in the Journal of Business Venturing.
Vestal’s primary finding is that there are "two organizational approaches to failure: normalizing it (tolerating failure as a necessary part of the innovation process) and analyzing it (purposeful attempts to convert failure experiences into knowledge)."
According to Vestal, “It’s a really interesting and timely article, particularly given the popular press’ encouragement to ‘embrace failure.’ We show empirically, that embracing failure does not enhance innovation. Rather, managers must analyze failure, and discuss and debate failures to draw the appropriate lessons. Further, this debate must take place in an environment safe for constructive conflict, where people feel secure enough to have an open and honest debate of ideas, and people are comfortable raising dissenting viewpoints.”