Creativity within Boundaries: Social Identity and the Development of New Ideas in Franchise Systems

14 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2018

See all articles by Fanny Simon–Lee

Fanny Simon–Lee

Université de Caen

Catherine Allix‐Desfautaux

Normandie Université

Nabil Khelil

Normandie Université

Anne‐Laure Le Nadant

Université de Rennes 1 - Rennes University Hospital

Date Written: December 2018

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyse one paradox of creativity that involves balancing novelty and conformity. Using a social identity perspective, we differentiate between organizational and expertise identities to understand how different types of identities impact the creative process in terms of novelty generation as well as conformity in the context of franchising. Franchise systems are a specific organizational context in which tensions between different identities may arise and ideas are selected by multiple audiences. Furthermore, because franchising is based on standardization, franchisors need to find a balance between maintaining the uniformity of the system through conformity and enhancing new idea deployment in the network for the purpose of adaptation. We conduct a comparative case study analysis of 17 franchise systems based on 20 narrations. The findings from our qualitative empirical study show that identification plays a major role in the creative process. Social control, which may be exerted by manipulating the group identity, is an efficient lever to increase both the diffusion of an idea and its variation from existing standards, which leads to important managerial implications. Networks of individuals can promote both idea generation and a uniform diffusion of those ideas by enhancing organizational identity with a strong entrepreneurship orientation or expertise identity based on occupation‐specific knowledge acquired through experience.

Suggested Citation

Simon–Lee, Fanny and Allix‐Desfautaux, Catherine and Khelil, Nabil and Le Nadant, Anne‐Laure, Creativity within Boundaries: Social Identity and the Development of New Ideas in Franchise Systems (December 2018). Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 27, Issue 4, pp. 444-457, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3288722 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/caim.12296

Fanny Simon–Lee (Contact Author)

Université de Caen ( email )

F-14032 Caen Cedex
France

Catherine Allix‐Desfautaux

Normandie Université

Le Havre
France

Nabil Khelil

Normandie Université

Le Havre
France

Anne‐Laure Le Nadant

Université de Rennes 1 - Rennes University Hospital

2 Rue Henri le Guilloux
Rennes, 35000
France

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