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Building and Sustaining an Innovative Work Environment: Case Study of Dunkin’ Donuts

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Research report

1.1 Research and develop a profile of a great innovator

A description of the innovation/innovator

The innovation that I have taken after enough of research is DUNKIN DONUTS. This was established in 1948 with the name as open kettle and by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts. In early 1950 it was renamed as Dunkin donuts. From the time of establishment to till date the growth of this company is very high holding its franchises at nearly 12,000 locations in 36 countries.

The type of innovation

The type of innovations being followed in this company from the very long time is increasing the menu as well as fast customer service.

Adding various items to menu falls under product innovation whereas fast customer service falls under process innovation.

Example: in 1950 the company menu has started with coffee and donuts which has increased its number of items in menu in the following years. They have also introduced a new ice cream brand in 2017 by name Baskin-Robbins. This eventually caused 2.8% growth in overall sales.

How their innovation led to benefits of their organization

For every business the success rate is measured mainly in three ways such as

  1. Expansion of the business
  2. Profits
  3. customer satisfaction. The Dunkin donuts company has achieved all these three.

Adding the number of items to menu has increased their profits and fast customer service also has increased the fame of the company.

  1. Current locations
  2. Former locations

Challenges and problems faced by the innovator

The three biggest challenges faced and facing by the Dunkin donuts company are

  • Labor shortages
  • Declining retail traffic
  • Health concern

An explanation of how they developed the innovation with specific reference to idea generation and idea evaluation

When it comes to the idea of developing new donut the following idea generation steps are followed in the Dunkin donuts group

Brainstorming, customer feedback, customer expectations, researching in the market place are considered to develop an idea. Once the idea is been developed that is been implemented and the staff will develop a new donut.

As part of idea evaluation the new donut that is been developed in the kitchen is been tested by the customers by sending into different restaurants worldwide.

However, it takes 18 months for the team to develop and release a new donut into market.

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1.2 Research and identify innovation sysytem features under the following headings ( dimensions of innovation)

A managed innovation process

In the process of innovating new donuts the Dunkin donuts company had stick to the basics but making them better.

Chris Dunkin donuts senior vice president of brand marketing, Global consumer insights and product innovation explains that their focus is on raising bar on both quality and variety of foods for which their innovation team constantly explore on innovating new items. They also concentrate on fast to market product innovation and increase use of digital technologies.

Strategic alignment

In 2018 Dunkin Donuts Company has announced that they are going to rebrand their company name as just Dunkin with a view to position their market as focusing on coffee, tea, quick service foods of course donuts. The decision was taken as 67% profits are from coffee sales.

Inconsideration to this whenever company wants to rebrand the company they must look for the following points.

  • Brand reputation issues
  • Business model alignment
  • ·egarding brand relevancy
  1. Industry foresight

This company has strategy for the growth in the forecast period.

  • Streamlined menu
  • Digital initiatives
  • Product innovation and brand differentiation
  • Strong relationship with franchisees
  1. Customer insights

Dunkin donuts look in to customer insights by using marketing cloud they respond to the customer behavior throughout their loyalty journey. In addition to this the company is also sending e mails to power up their email marketing.

Core technologies and competencies

Core technology of 2018 – mobile drives-thru lane, 75 percent of all restaurants with drive-thru lane and NextGen restaurant design, OTG mobile ordering platform

Core competencies –

Dunkin donuts brand has core competencies between brand management, marketing strategy, distribution and product innovation, food preparation and customer service. These sort of different core competencies are allowing both to fetch success rate.

The core competency is coffee and backed goods, Reilly, M. (2011) and customer loyalty, fast customer service, updating of menu with new innovative items.

  1. Organizational readiness
  2. Disciplined implementation

Dunkin donuts has a very disciplinary implementation in serving customers without letting them to wait so to keep up their reputation for almost over 60 years as a quick service restaurant (QSR).

1.3 Research the ways that organizational nad team dynamics can affect workplace innovation sysytems. Explain

How different approaches to management and leadership can support or hinder innovation?

Approaches to management and leadership that support innovation

According to Jon Warner (2016) there are different ways of leadership that supports the innovation such as

  1. Building a climate of trust
  2. Talking about the importance of ideas, creativity and innovation
  3. Strong vision
  4. Setting up clear goals
  5. Focusing on customer and employee needs
  6. Encouraging different levels of communication such as cross and upward communication
  7. Being optimistic
  8. Encouraging quality over quantity
  9. Providing quick and positive feedback
  10. Should be a role model

Approaches to leadership and management that hinder innovation

According to Brendan Playford there are 9 challenges that hinder the innovation

  1. Employees are not empowered to innovate
  2. No motivation to employee for being innovative
  3. No innovation strategy
  4. Innovation is limited to only one functional group
  5. Lack of collaboration
  6. Lack of diversity
  7. Experiencing the success
  8. Lack of connections with consumers
  9. Improper or wrong way of measuring innovation

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Building and Sustaining an Innovative Work Environment: Case Study of Dunkin’ Donuts. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 28, 2023, from
“Building and Sustaining an Innovative Work Environment: Case Study of Dunkin’ Donuts.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
Building and Sustaining an Innovative Work Environment: Case Study of Dunkin’ Donuts. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Jan. 2023].
Building and Sustaining an Innovative Work Environment: Case Study of Dunkin’ Donuts [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 27 [cited 2023 Jan 28]. Available from:
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