Innovation research has tended to take a ‘top-down’ approach, and has failed to take account of the varying perspectives on the innovation process of different groups within organizations. This paper describes a study in two residential care homes for the elderly which examined inter-group differences in perceptions of the innovation process. Staff were asked to describe the histories of a selected innovation. Content-analysis of transcripts showed that managerial and non-managerial staff groups differed in their emphasis on particular phases of the innovation process, and that managers stressed positive influences on the process to a greater extent than did other staff. The groups agreed on what the sources of influence were. Four factors are suggested which might explain these findings: a group's stake in the innovation, role in the innovation process, identity with the organization, and the effectiveness of inter-group communications. Implications for management and future research are discussed.