University of Maryland

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Reading Group: Mindless & Mindful Innovation

March 28th, 2015 by

Mindless & Mindful Innovation, Invitation #9

In the mid-1990s, an IT research analyst named Erik Keller was having lunch with a client who was excited about the implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system soon starting at his company. Keller asked him why he was adopting the ERP system. The client looked at him in a puzzled way and said, “No one ever asked me that before.” After 45 minutes of further discussion, he could still not come up with a reason.

This vignette illustrates the bandwagon phenomenon, suggesting that more than a little innovative behavior may be of the “me too” variety, where individual or organizational adopters entertain scant reasoning for adopting new technologies. If such “mindless innovation” is bad, why do we see so much of it? How do we account for it? What implications might it have for the design and development of new IT? Can you instead innovate mindfully in your organization, and how? If these questions interest you, please join us on Monday, March 30, 2-3 pm, in Hornbake 2116, for the 9th meeting of the iSchool Innovation & Entrepreneurship Reading Group. Light, healthy refreshments will be provided.

On March 30, we will discuss the following article:
Swanson, E. B. and Ramiller, N. C. “Innovating Mindfully with Information Technology,” MIS Quarterly (28:4), 2004, pp. 553-583, available at .

The iSchool Innovation & Entrepreneurship Reading Group ( aims to disseminate and advance knowledge of innovation and entrepreneurship. In Spring 2015, we meet on Mondays, 2-3 pm to discuss classic and new articles on key issues in innovation and entrepreneurship, in conjunction with INST 621: Managing Digital Innovations in Organizations. All members (students, staff, and faculty) of the UMD community are welcome to attend any session. This group is sponsored by the Center for the Advanced Study of Communities and Information (CASCI) and hosted by Dr. Ping Wang ( See our full schedule at .