What is DINNOS about?


Previous Research 

Previous research has provided divergent evidence on the impact of age diversity on innovation. On the one hand, age diversity can lead to conflicts, while on the other hand, it can facilitate integration of knowledge and ideas of diverse employees to improve innovation. Thus, particularly for SMEs, which are strongly dependent on continuous generation and implementation of innovations high age diversity can be either a curse or a blessing.


DINNOS, aims to engage in policy experimentation and conduct a large-scale randomized control trial (RCT) to examine the effectiveness of an innovation support scheme (ISS) in the West Midlands region of the UK and the Rhine-Ruhr region of Germany, which focuses on facilitating innovation through age diversity. The ISS was developed in a previous research project funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research and piloted in two SMEs. It consists of a cognitive skills training for individual employees and a leadership training for SME-Entrepreneurs. The project offers several innovations by: 

a) focusing on employees’ age diversity as a resource for innovation  
b) conducting a sophisticated and systematic evaluation of an ISS, which includes interventions at the individual-, and the leadership level.


The main objective of DINNOS is to evaluate the effectiveness of the ISS on outcomes at the organisational- and the individual level by using a RCT. This trial will be conducted with 300 SMEs and 400 individual employees from Germany and the UK. SMEs and individual employees will be randomly allocated to an experimental and a waiting-list control group. First, the effectiveness of the ISS will be examined in the experimental and afterwards in the waiting-list control group.

On the individual level, DINNOS will examine the effects of the cognitive skills training on individual creativity and innovation behaviour. The effects of the leadership training will be examined on self-reported outcomes such as servant leadership, appreciation of age diversity, and age stereotypes as well as more objective outcomes such as submission of ideas, and patents.


For further information please click here: DINNOS_Executive-Summary_Policy_Brief