Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc program in Management and International Business | 2016
Thesis number: 14607
Organizational characteristics promoting and inhibiting creativity: comparing practitioners´ and researchers´ views on managing innovativeness
|Title:||Organizational characteristics promoting and inhibiting creativity: comparing practitioners´ and researchers´ views on managing innovativeness|
|Year:||2016 Language: eng|
|Department:||Department of Management Studies|
|Academic subject:||MSc program in Management and International Business|
|Index terms:||johtaminen; management; luovuus; creativity; innovaatiot; innovations; organisaatio; organization; haastattelu; interview|
|Key terms:||Creativity, innovation management, post-merger integration, research-practice gap|
Change is faster than ever in the globalizing world which emphasizes the need for companies to be able to constantly adjust to their environment. Thus the ability to innovate and be innovative can be regarded very important for companies to be able to secure their survival and success. The purpose of this study was to contribute to the discussion about what constitutes an innovative organization. The study strived for answering two questions. Firstly, from the point-of-view of practitioners, what are the organizational characteristics that promote and inhibit creativity and innovativeness and how should these characteristics be managed, specifically in the context of a post-merger group? Secondly, are these views of practitioners in line with those of researchers in the academia? Thus, the second research question aimed for assessing whether a research-practice gap could be identified in this field of research.
The study was conducted using qualitative means, namely interviews. This research method was deemed the most appropriate as the aim was in gathering views and sentiments from individual managers in a more in-depth manner instead of choosing to gather more shallow data from a greater number of individuals. The analysis of interview data was conducted using qualitative content analysis.
From the empirical data, five critical elements for managing innovativeness were detected. First, substantial differences between employees´ competence-levels are likely to restrict an organization´s ability to innovate. Second, lack of common group-wide processes is not optimal for innovativeness, and mergers further complicate creating these processes. Third, top-management´s role is crucial in the management of innovativeness, especially as the driver and communicator of change. Fourth, inadequate managerial behavior and skills are detrimental for innovativeness: managers need to interact and communicate with their subordinates frequently and effectively, in addition to providing them with sufficient resources to enable refining of ideas. Fifth, excess workload likely leads to a negative mindset that hardly is an innovation-inducing state of mind.
The views of practitioners seemed to be in line with the views of researchers to a very large extent. Thus it can be concluded that a research-practice gap could not be identified.
The study contributes to the discussion of promoting and inhibiting organizational characteristics for innovativeness by providing empirical knowledge from managers of a post-merger group. This knowledge might offer some insight for other practitioners, too. Furthermore, the study contributes to the general discussion on research-practice gap by focusing on the context of managing innovativeness. By speaking for the absence of a research-practice gap, the study offers an opposing view to the prevailing discussion.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.