The aim of this project is to make the role of critics visible in both, the innovation process of firms where leader-creators drive innovation and the process of leading innovation in the industry. Previous research has not taken the role of critics in the innovation process into consideration. Only the role that critics play on the market by influencing customers and consequently sales, has been researched. As the aim of the project is to identify the role that critics play in the innovation process, we have to deal with critics in detail. Therefore, we differentiate between expert critics and non-expert critics. Expert critics are professional reviewers who have a certain level of expertise. They normally adopted a standardized reviewing process in order to evaluate the quality of a service or a product. In contrast, non-experts is everybody else who evaluates the same service or product and publishes it (e.g. in online communities). Specifically, we try to find answers to the following questions.
- Do firm leader-creators incorporate the results of critics in their innovation processes as their leadership task?
- How do firm leaders incorporate expert and non-expert critics in their innovation processes?
- What is the relationship between leader-creators and critics in leading industry innovation? The project studies the research questions in the haute cuisine industry in selected cities.
We refer to the term leader-creators because in industries, where critics are prevalent, the innovation process and leadership tasks are performed by one person. E.g. in haute cuisine, the chefs are leader-creators because they lead the restaurant according to their values and principles and are responsible for new dishes. The same is valid for the fashion, movies, or computer games industry.