Dejana Zlatanović, Jelena Nikolić, Zlatko Nedelko

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Innovativeness can be seen as a major competitive advantage in organizations enhancing their effectiveness and enabling the basis for sustainable development. Innovations in higher education systems have an impact on all the systems elements, relationships as well as on the higher order system in which higher education institutions (HEIs) are embedded, ranging from individuals to organizations. A holistic approach to innovativeness in higher education is required in order to improve innovativeness. The paper deals with the issues of improving innovativeness in higher education from the viewpoint of Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), as a relevant interpretive systems approach. The main purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how this systemic approach can help to explore the complex and pluralist nature of management innovativeness in higher education and provide a foundation for improving innovativeness of HEIs. Accordingly, the paper contributes to reveal different perceptions and interpretations of HEIs’ relevant stakeholders on innovativeness, as well as to identify systemically desirable and culturally feasible changes which can improve innovativeness of HEIs. Findings will be useful for HEIs to improve their innovativeness.


innovation, improving innovativeness, higher education, Soft Systems Methodology

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