Title: Blending creativity and structure in implementing a novel idea

Authors: Ronald C. Beckett

Addresses: Centre for Industry and Innovation Studies, University of Western Sydney, Australia

Abstract: It is observed that the process of innovating involves both elements of structure and of agency and is supported by creative activities, which also embody elements of agency and structure. This observation is used to suggest a framework to characterise case-by-case implementation arrangements in the development stage of an individual innovation. Ideas emerging from structuration theory are used as a theoretical foundation for considering the interaction of structure and agency. A case study relating to the implementation of a particular out-of-the-box innovation is used to illustrate how some of the concepts presented are enacted at the operational level. The need for creativity in all of the evolutionary stages of this kind of innovation is noted. Ways in which highly structured practices may be adapted and may contribute to creativity through the use of critical questioning and reflection are illustrated. The adaptive structuration theory notion of appropriation of suitable structures for different purposes is observed to have some utility in innovation management research when combined with some particular research strategies. Seemingly linear concepts such as stage-gate management and the iterative nature of development of a complex system can be integrated and are discussed in the context of the illustrative case presented.

Keywords: innovation management; creativity; structuration theory; project management; product development; structure; agency; out-of-the-box innovation; stage-gate management; iteration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2010.033957

International Journal of Product Development, 2010 Vol.11 No.3/4, pp.177 - 195

Published online: 05 Jul 2010 *

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