Complexity Arrangements for Sustained Innovation: Lessons from 3M Corporation
Organization Studies, Forthcoming
31 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2010 Last revised: 11 Jun 2021
Date Written: July 8, 2010
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: Suggested Citation