Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Management

Advisor

John C. Hannon

Abstract

Senior business leaders may deliberately impede innovation or inadvertently fail at creating a culture of innovation to foster new product development. The gap between desired and achieved levels of innovation is cause for concern. Addressing the innovation gap may require new ways of thinking from senior executives and a departure from a locked-in mindset to make the linkage between innovation, branding, and financial performance. In this quantitative research study, multiple regression analyses were used to examine and analyze the relationship between innovation rankings, brand valuation, and economic sustainability to address possible reasons for an innovation gap. The theoretical framework of the study included Legrand and Weiss's innovation gap theory, Sood and Tellis's theory of limited market disruption, and Morris's theory of innovation. Furthermore, Dierk and Dover's definition of ambidexterity elucidated the failure of some senior leaders to balance short and long-term innovation objectives. A sample of 190 global companies was used in the study and taken from the Forbes World's Most Innovative Companies ranking, Interbrand Brand Value Index, and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. The results of the regression model indicated a small, statistically significant positive correlation between innovation and long-term sustainability using 2015 data. Using 2012 data for the predictor variables and 2015 data for the dependent variable indicated no statistically significant relationship between innovation and branding efforts on sustainability. Though marginal, the correlation found between innovation and sustainability may encourage senior business leaders to support specific innovation practices in order to improve sustainability and close the innovation gap.