Adaptation Innovation Theory

The adaptation innovation theory has helped organisations to understand problem solving and cognitive style. Consider case study evidence, success factors and practical implementation steps to discover where individuals in your organisation are placed on along the continuum scale.

Technique Overview

Adaptation Innovation Theory

Adaptation Innovation Theory Definition

The adaptation-innovation theory was developed by Kirton in 1976 to determine people's cognitive styles and to identify adaptors and innovators on a continuum scale. This problem-solving and creativity model aims to increase collaboration and reduce conflict within groups (Kirton, 1976; Stum, 2009).

Adaptation Innovation Theory Description *

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Business Evidence

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Examples of Adaptation Innovation Theory *

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Business Application

Adaptation Innovation Theory Implementation *

Success Factors of Adaptation Innovation Theory *

Measures of Adaptation Innovation Theory *

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Professional Tools

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Further Reading

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Adaptation Innovation Theory References (4 of up to 20) *

  • Allinson, C. & Hayes, J. (2012) The Cognitive Style Index: Technical Manual and User Guide, Pearson Education. Available at:
  • Bobic, M., Davis, E., and Cunningham, R. (1999) The Kirton adaptation-innovation inventory: validity issues, practical questions. Review of Public Personnel Administration, Vol.19(2), pp. 18-31.
  • Costa, P. T. & McCrae, R. R. (1995) Domains and Facets: Hierarchical Personality Assessment Using the Revised NEO Personality Inventory, Journal of Personality Assessment, 64(1), pp. 21-50.
  • Foxall, G. R. (1986) Managers in transition: an empirical test of Kirton’s adaption- innovation theory and its implications for the mid-career MBA. Technovation, Vol.4, pp. 219-232.

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