1 Introduction

Innovation readiness focuses on harnessing factors such as the development of ideas, the acquisition of resources and their allocation, and the implementation of the projects (Ojiako, 2022). A country’s level of innovation readiness is heavily determined by how well the leadership invests its time and resources to develop the innovation sector. Other factors include technological advancement and the availability of a conducive environment favoring innovation (Chipulu, 2022).

1.1 Problem Statement and Rationale

Dubai is home to numerous innovative organizations spurred by UAE’s financial resources and corporate influence. These organizations can further their technological advancements if they leverage existing facilitating conditions. This paper aims to 1) identify the impact of facilitating factors on innovation readiness in the Dubai public sector and 2) identify the gaps in innovation that arise when these facilitating factors are ignored. The paper will focus on how the Dubai public sector can use the current facilitating factors to boost innovation readiness. The result of this research will be used as a guide for Dubai public sector organizations to implement new technologies based on the assessment of how different facilitating factors influence the current technologies that they use.

2 Theoretical Background

2.1 Innovation Readiness/Facilitating Conditions

Innovation readiness can be defined as the degree to which an organization is prepared to identify, develop, and implement innovative ideas and strategies (Tidd & Bessant, 2013). It measures an organization’s ability to generate and execute creative ideas that create value for its stakeholders. Facilitating conditions be internal and external to an organization, including factors such as leadership support, organizational culture, resources, knowledge and skills, collaboration, technology, and market conditions (Bessant & Tidd, 2011).

2.2 Types of Facilitating Conditions

2.2.1 Leadership Support

Leadership support entails an organization getting assistance from its leaders while bearing a part of the workload. Leadership support is a crucial factor in fostering innovation readiness in an organization. Leaders can provide a clear vision and mission, and create an enabling environment promoting innovation (Zuraik, 2017).

2.2.2 Resource Availability

Resource availability is money and materials being ready for use by a person or organization. Adequate resources, including funding, technology, and human capital, are necessary to develop and implement innovative ideas. In addition, knowledge and skills are vital factors in facilitating innovation readiness (Patterson et al., 2009).

2.2.3 Collaboration

Collaboration is engaging people to work hand-in-hand on a task that involves more than one person. As a facilitating condition, collaboration can occur internally, between departments and teams within an organization, and externally, between organizations, customers, and suppliers (Assimakopoulos, 2007).

2.2.4 Marketing Conditions

Marketing conditions like customer needs and preferences, regulatory frameworks, and competitive pressures can facilitate innovation readiness. Organizations responsive to market changes and customer demands are better positioned to develop and implement innovative solutions that meet these needs (Harrington & Voehl, 2016).

2.3 Theories/Concepts Regarding Facilitating Conditions

2.3.1 Diffusion of Innovation Theory (DOI)

Diffusion of Innovation Theory (DOI) is a theory that explains how innovations spread through society. The theory proposes that the adoption of innovations is influenced by several factors, including the characteristics of the innovation itself, the communication channels through which it is promoted, and the adopters’ characteristics (Dearing & Cox, 2018).

2.3.2 Absorptive Capacity

The ability of an organization to recognize, obtain, and apply outside knowledge is known as its absorptive capacity (Bos-Brouwers, 2010). High absorptive capacity organizations are better able to recognize and integrate novel concepts and technologies into their operations, hence increasing their preparedness for innovation (Bogers et al., 2017).

2.3.3 Innovation Culture

An organization’s common beliefs, attitudes, and practices that foster innovation are referred to as its “innovation culture” (Patterson et al., 2009). A company’s risk tolerance, employee autonomy, and the degree to which innovation is rewarded are just a few examples of the many variables that make up its innovation culture (Patterson et al., 2009).

2.3.4 Measuring Innovation Readiness

The Innovation Readiness Assessment created by NESTA (Patterson et al., 2009), is a survey-based assessment instrument that can be used to measure innovation readiness. This instrument evaluates an organization’s capacity to create and execute new ideas, the degree of innovation promotion by management, and its receptivity to outside ideas and expertise. Alternative methods of assessing innovation readiness, such as Lane and Lubatkin’s (1998) Absorptive Capacity Index, concentrate on more particular facets of absorptive capacity.

2.4 Theories and Concepts on Innovation Readiness

2.4.1 Diffusion of Innovation Theory

This theory focuses on how various groups and individuals adapt and accept innovation over time and at different phases. This theory can assist in determining the variables that impact Dubai’s public sector’s adoption of innovation. According to Dearing and Cox (2018), there are five types of adopters: innovators, early adopters, the early majority, the late majority, and laggards.

2.4.2 Role of Organizational Culture

Employees who feel free to take calculated risks and share new ideas without fear of repercussions can be encouraged by an organization’s culture. Innovation-friendly cultures encourage cooperation and cross-functional communication, which can result in the exchange of information and insights that can inspire fresh concepts and methods (Schein, 2010).

2.4.3 Open Innovation Theory

Open innovation is partnering with diverse stakeholders to develop and execute creative ideas. Through the facilitation of access to a wide range of knowledge and expertise, open innovation practices can improve an organization’s readiness. Companies have access to more resources, knowledge, and expertise than they could from their own internal resources (Bogers et al., 2017).

2.4.4 Technological Communities

Technological communities and networks can provide a platform for individuals to share ideas and knowledge, collaborate, and learn from each other (Assimakopoulos, 2007). These communities and networks can take various forms, such as industry associations, professional organizations, academic research networks, and online communities..

2.5 Issues and Arguments (Key Questions and Problems that have been Addressed to date)

The main issue is that there is no universally agreed-upon definition of innovation readiness, which creates challenges in measuring and assessing it. Various facilitating conditions, such as leadership support, organizational culture, and resource availability, can significantly influence an organization’s innovation readiness. The argument that emerged is that innovation readiness is a critical concept for organizations seeking to thrive in today’s rapidly changing business environment (Shwedeh, 2022).

2.6 Key Concepts and their Relationships

Several theories and concepts provide insights into facilitating conditions and their role in promoting innovation readiness. For example, the diffusion of innovation theory suggests that adopting new ideas depends on the innovation’s relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability. The social learning theory highlights the importance of social networks and communication channels in facilitating knowledge transfer and innovation (Shwedeh, 2022).

3 Framework

3.1 Theoretical framework

According to the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology, technology use is influenced by behavioral intention. Key determinants of technology adoption are performance expectancy, social influence, effort expectancy, and facilitating conditions – the latter being the perceived importance individuals assign to using a new system (Ahmad, 2015). While facilitating conditions impact initial technology use intent, their effects diminish over time. Predictors of intention, including age, voluntariness, and workforce skills, align with facilitating conditions (Ahmad, 2015). The framework compares various technology acceptance theories and emphasizes the significance of skills and experience in innovation readiness (Table 1). The Theory of Reasoned Action emphasizes the influence of skills and attitudes on human behavior, while voluntariness, linked to the Theory of Planned Behavior, highlights the importance of individual attitudes for optimal technological efficiency (Ayaz & Yanartaş, 2020).

Table 1. Final shape for the Independent Variable
Table 2: Final shape for the dependent variable

3.2 Conceptual framework

In this essay, we have examined and critically assessed current ideas of technology acceptance. The conceptual framework involves a comprehensive examination and critical assessment of current ideas on technology acceptance, aiming to create an extended model for technology services. To achieve this, relevant constructs from existing models were explored within the context of developing mobile technologies and services. The discussion consisted of various theoretical models in the literature on innovation acceptance and adoption, each with a distinct focus and evaluated in diverse settings. Empirically studied models, such as the Motivational Model, Reasoned Action, and Theory of Planned Behavior, originated from social psychology, while others, like the Innovation Diffusion Theory and Social Cognitive Theory, were derived from sociology (Resnick et al., 2005). The Technology Acceptance Model applied the concepts of technology adoption in a more focused manner (Table 2).

In a knowledge-based economy, having information and the ability to use it provides a competitive advantage (Hofstede, 2004). The essay expands the idea of innovation, viewing it as an interactive, geographically embedded social learning process interconnected with institutional and cultural contexts. Technological advancements, crucial for corporate operations, necessitate corresponding organizational promotions for the industry’s long-term growth and survival. The diffusion of innovation is influenced by factors such as innovation typology, innovation champions, distribution timing, and adopters’ ability to absorb the creation. The essay emphasizes the crucial relationship between innovation, research, and technology development, highlighting the need for a technology-based approach to deliver the necessary knowledge for successful implementation. The framework’s organization is based on innovation typologies, input of knowledge, personnel, lab involvement, and the specificity of the project, contributing to the existing literature on convergent technology (Tidd & Bessant, 2013).

4 Discussion

4.1 Research Gaps

4.1.1 Exploring how Organizational Culture can Hinder or Support Innovation Readiness

There is a need to explore how organizational culture can support or hinder innovation readiness. Although studies have recognized the role of corporate culture in fostering innovation, there is a need to examine how specific cultural dimensions can influence innovation readiness. Hofstede and Hofstede (2004) identified six dimensions of national culture that can affect organizational culture, including power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, long-term orientation, and indulgence.

4.1.2 Investigating how SMEs can Enhance Innovation Readiness

The need to look into ways that small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) can improve their innovation readiness represents another research gap. SMEs frequently require greater resources and capabilities to develop and implement innovation strategies despite the fact that innovation is crucial to their growth and survival (Bos-Brouwers, 2010; Bessant & Tidd, 2011). Thus, in order to improve SMEs’ readiness for innovation, it is imperative to investigate how they can make use of outside resources, such as technological communities and networks (Assimakopoulos, 2007).

4.1.3 Examining the Relationship Between Innovation and Readiness for Innovation

The necessity to look into the connection between regular innovation and innovation readiness represents the third research gap. According to Patterson et al. (2009), organizations should promote everyday innovation—that is, small, incremental improvements to procedures, goods, or services—in order to increase innovation readiness.

4.2 Expand Existing Literature

Subsequent research endeavours may explore the function of leadership styles and leader input in cultivating innovation readiness. According to Schein (2010), organizational culture is shaped by leadership and has the power to either foster or limit innovation. Another way is to explore the open innovation approach to enhance innovation readiness. Open innovation involves collaborating with external partners (Bogers et al., 2017). Future studies can investigate how organizations can leverage open innovation to enhance readiness and manage the challenges associated with open innovation.

4.3 Possible Future Research Questions

Possible research questions that can address the identified research gaps and expand the existing literature on innovation readiness include:

  1. 1.

    How do cultural dimensions influence organizational innovation readiness?

  2. 2.

    How can SMEs leverage technological communities and networks to enhance their innovation readiness?

  3. 3.

    How does innovation contribute to building an innovation-ready culture, and how can it support radical innovations?

  4. 4.

    How can organizations leverage open innovation to enhance their readiness, and how can they manage the challenges associated with open innovation?

5 Conclusion

The research was limited by the available literature that requires further investigation of organizational culture and its ability to support or hinder innovation readiness. More data is needed to analyze how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can enhance innovation readiness and to trace the relationship between everyday innovation and innovation readiness. The results show that the intention to use technology is positively influenced by facilitating situations, but the effect is marginal after initial usage. Conducive environments have an immediate and considerable impact on user behavior. The methodology involved a survey of employees and data analysis using regression analysis. Limitations include the use of small sample size and a single industry.

Future research should expand the scope and incorporate a broader range of industries. Therefore, the limitations of this research can become a base for future studies aiming to examine how specific cultural dimensions can influence innovation readiness. Findings’ implementation can help organizations operate effectively by adapting to changing environments and facing challenges with confidence. By supporting related policies and initiatives, companies can significantly benefit from innovations and develop further advanced strategies.