As we continue to collect MEL data – increasingly with the help of our academic partners – considerable benefits may accrue to the literature on applied business practice. Some examples follow:
- The literature is replete with work on the roles of managers and leaders within the organization. However, very little is available on the interactive impact of managers, entrepreneurs and leaders. As we believe these three archetypes play a vital role in sustaining innovation, deeper study of their inter-relationship will add rigor to our understanding of the dynamics of ambidexterity.
- Much academic research is cross-sectional and therefore looks at phenomena only at one point in time. The MEL Index offers a tool that can be used repeatedly to provide much needed longitudinal viewpoints.
- The MEL Index offers both “deep” qualitative insights – for example, detailed descriptions of the tasks and skills required of a manager, entrepreneur and leader – as well as sharp, quantitative measures of MEL capabilities.
- As the data base of MEL findings continues to expand, it becomes increasingly feasible to do meaningful sub-segment analysis. Differences in results can be studied by such variables as industry life cycle stage, geographic location, company size and ownership structure, and innovation strategy.