Managing Innovation in Hospitals: The Rise of the Chief Innovation Officer

Kyle Myers, Harvard Business School, and John Kimberly, Henry Bower Professor of Entrepreneurial Management, Executive Director, Wharton/INSEAD Alliance

Abstract: Hospitals are increasingly facing market and regulatory pressures and the need to innovate is becoming ever more salient. One response has been the creation of the role of Chief Innovation Officer, or CIO. This new position in the senior management team has the responsibility of reinforcing the need to innovate across the full spectrum of operations at these large and complex institutions, yet little is known about how the role is being enacted or its impact. We plan to conduct in-person semi-structured interviews at a purposive sample of four to six academic medical centers with CIOs to analyze this position as it is being enacted across a range of settings and begin to estimate its impact on hospital operations. This project has three main objectives: (1) identify the origins of the CIO position in firms generally, and document the diffusion of this position among US academic medical centers and teaching hospitals; (2) document the backgrounds and responsibilities of persons serving as CIOs across a range of hospitals in the US; (3) determine, insofar as possible, the impact of these CIOs on innovation.

Watch John Kimberly discuss this research here.