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Creative Tension in the Innovation Process: How to Support the Right Capabilities

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abstract The degree to which a firm needs creativity and discipline – the elements of creative tension to which this paper refers – depends on the speed with which the industry changes. While some degree of freedom and flexibility is essential for productive innovation teams, management is faced with the challenge of instituting control mechanisms that lead projects in the right strategic direction, and monitor firms’ progress towards their organizational and project goals. However, the wrong type of control system may constrain firms’ capabilities.

Determinants of innovative behavior, such as leadership and autonomy, can explain the relationship between innovation strategy, managerial control and organizational behavior but have not yet been applied to examine the differences in various innovation control systems’ design.

We analyzed 12 successful practice companies’ innovation control systems by means of these determinants in order to define how supportive or counterproductive they are in respect of increasing R&D effectiveness and efficiency. We identified three archetypes of innovation control system design, each of which depends on the dynamics of the industry in which companies act. Strategic assumptions were derived from these archetypical designs to provide useful guidelines for management who confront multi-faceted and complicated control situations.
   
type journal paper
   
keywords Innovation Management, Innovation Control System; Organizational Behavior; Industry Dynamic, Contingency Approach
   
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 1-2-2007
journal European Management Journal
publisher Pergamon Press (Oxford)
ISSN 0263-2373
ISSN (online) 1873-5681
DOI 10.1016/j.emj.2006.11.005
volume of journal 25
number of issue 1
page(s) 11-24
review double-blind review
   
citation Perez-Freije, J., & Enkel, E. (2007). Creative Tension in the Innovation Process: How to Support the Right Capabilities. European Management Journal, 25(1), 11-24, DOI:10.1016/j.emj.2006.11.005.