Complexity Arrangements for Sustained Innovation: Lessons from 3M Corporation
Pennsylvania State University
University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization
Temple University, The Fox School of Business
July 8, 2010
Organization Studies, Forthcoming
Innovation processes are complex. It is through local interactions among people and technologies that diverse and novel outcomes emerge. Even when governed by simple rules, such interactions can generate nonlinear temporal dynamics. Given such complexities, how might an organization sustain innovation for continued growth and vitality? Drawing on an in-depth study of innovation practices and journeys at 3M Corporation, we identify how combinations of practices – which we conceptualize as complexity arrangements – afford multiple agentic orientations simultaneously for the actors involved and thereby facilitate sustained innovation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 51
Keywords: agency, complexity, exploration/exploitation, innovation, organizational memory, serendipity, time
JEL Classification: D90, O31, O32, O33, M13, M14Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 27, 2010 ; Last revised: January 29, 2013
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