A multilevel approach to research ‘Obscure’ innovation processes and practices

The paper’s aim is to discuss a need for a multilevel research approach to investigate innovation practices in organisations. We argue that this approach overcomes some of the limitations of the single level research methods commonly used investigating innovation performance and success. Specifically, the multilevel research approach allows researchers and subsequently organisations to take into consideration ‘obscured’ practices within innovation processes. First, we put forward a motion that innovation processes permeate the formalised organisational structures and practices. Then, we outline a case where many of the practices associated with innovation are ‘obscured’. This is followed with discussion on how the commonly used single level research methods fail to take into consideration these obscured factors. We then introduce Activity Theory and propose a multilevel framework which aims to overcome the shortfalls of the previous analytical methods.