Generating Ideas and Managing Suggestion Systems in Organisations: Some Empirical Evidence

By Andries J. Du Plessis, Andrew Marx and Gregory Wilson.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Methods used to generate ideas and suggestions differ. It is generally accepted that employees from all levels in the organisation are involved in the design, but the respondents have different opinions. Suggestion systems consist of formal procedures; its success will depend on a number of factors. It should be explained during the induction process. This paper reports on research of suggestion systems executed through qualitative research with structured interviews in 21 organisations in New Zealand of which 90.48% are from the private sector and 9.52% are from the public sector. A 100% response rate was achieved. To train all the people involved will help to be effective in the Idea Generation Programmes. Software should be used to administer and to manage the process effectively and efficiently. A flow chart was developed by the authors to assist with the generating of ideas system. Line managers should authorise implementation of suggestions. Due to financial issues, higher level approval is needed for rewards as well as for suggestions that could have implications on corporate level. It was found that managers will always play a pivotal role in the success of the suggestion system. Important issues are pointed out in the implications for managers section.

Keywords: Suggestion Systems, Idea Generating Process, Management Involvement, Feedback

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp.133-140. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 688.431KB).

Dr. Andries J. Du Plessis

Academic Group Leader and Senior Lecturer, Unitec Business School, Unitec New Zealand, Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Academic Group Leader and Senior Lecturer in Unitec Business School, Unitec New Zealand. Lecturing in post- and undergraduate programmes in Relationships in Organisations, HRM, Strategic HRM, Employment Relations (ER), Strategy and Change,and Organisation and Management. He joined Unitec on 8 May 2002 in the Unitec Business School; PhD major in Employment Relations and Employment Law (dispute resolution mechanisms). Author of numerous journal articles and contributor of several chapters to a textbook. Twenty eight years experience in practice in HR, ER, dispute resolution and negotiations. Research interests in HR, ER, Organisational Development, Change Management, Cultural differences, Diverse Workforces and the managing thereof.

Prof. Andrew Marx

Professor, Management and Business School, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Professor Andrew Marx was a tenured professor in the Department of Business Management at the University of Pretoria since 1985 until retirement at the end of 2007. His field of interest is human resources management and labour relations; specifically innovation and ideas management. Andrew was the first South African to do a thesis on Suggestion Systems. Andrew has played a major role in the founding of South African National Association of Suggestion Systems (SANASS) in 1990 and the affiliation of SANASS with the Employment Involvement Association (EIA), formerly NASS in the USA during the same year. He was external examiner for the University of South Africa and the University of Johannesburg. Prof Marx was a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee of the publication Management Dynamics: Contemporary Research and a member of the South African Institute for Management Scientists. During 1992, he published a book titled: A Practical guide on implementing suggestion systems. Professor Marx has contributed chapters in ten books and wrote more than thirty other articles in various local and international publications. He delivered papers at international conferences in South Africa, Namibia, Dubai (United Arab Emirates), India, Malaysia, Australia, Finland, and the United States of America.

Gregory Wilson

Lecturer, Unitec Business School, Unitec New Zealand, Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Gregory Wilson spent a number of years working in service industries mainly in senior positions at Regional and General Management levels. Greg’s experience in SME’s and multinational organisations has given him a tremendous insight into how businesses operate. With a wealth of business knowledge he is able to pass along his experiences in academia. Greg is rated as a top lecturer in his field and has appeared as a guest speaker with several conferences in both NZ and Canada. His research activities focuses on current marketing and management issues and is researching at present the importance of the internal customer on the long term viability of a company’s success.


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