Systemic Practice and Action Research
Centre for Innovative Practice / School of Business and Law
This paper examines the concept of authentic innovation and the development of the animation industry in Malaysia. Authenticity is a concept that has been investigated from philosophical and institutional perspectives in the quest to explain the role of self-fulfillment and decision-making. It links with systems thinking because authenticity as a strategy requires a holistic approach since it is based upon values that influence action. The desire for authenticity can create expression outside the norms and produce innovation. We present interpretations of authenticity, explain the concept of authentic innovation and relate this to three case studies of Malaysian animation studios. We found that cultural authenticity contributed to the uniqueness of the product and was a significant factor in the success of the animations in South East Asia. Challenges for maintaining authentic innovation arise primarily from economic pressure.