Complexity Arrangements for Sustained Innovation: Lessons from 3M Corporation

Organization Studies, Forthcoming

31 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2010 Last revised: 11 Jun 2021

See all articles by Raghu Garud

Raghu Garud

Pennsylvania State University

Joel Gehman

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Arun Kumaraswamy

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Management & International Business

Date Written: July 8, 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: agency, complexity, exploration/exploitation, innovation, organizational memory, serendipity, time

JEL Classification: D90, O31, O32, O33, M13, M14

Suggested Citation

Garud, Raghu and Gehman, Joel and Kumaraswamy, Arun, Complexity Arrangements for Sustained Innovation: Lessons from 3M Corporation (July 8, 2010). Organization Studies, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1596299

Raghu Garud

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

431 Business Bulding
Pennsylvania State University
State College, PA 16803
United States

Joel Gehman (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada
(780) 248-5855 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.joelgehman.com

Arun Kumaraswamy

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Management & International Business ( email )

University Park
Miami, FL 33199
United States

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