Creative-Learning Innovation Cycle - CLIC Work Motivation and Organizational Creativity

WHY do certain leaders’ management of organizational resources encourage creative people engaged in New Product Development (NPD) to achieve high performance, on time, while other leaders’ practices foster frustration and delays? In this research project I attempt to understand the WHY and HOW of leaders’ management of organizational resources in the context of Csikszentmihalyi’s phenomenon of Flow. Flow is most likely to occur when people perceive a balance between the challenge of a situation and their professional abilities to deal with the challenge. “Being in the flow” increases peoples’ focus and attention, the latter being a prerequisite for high creativity, on the tasks and problems at hand and boosts their commitment to deliver their projects on time. Following the above-mentioned reasoning, I assume that if leaders manage organizational resources to create an optimal balance between challenging situations and the skills of their creative people, these managerial practices would likely result in enhancing the output of the NPD process, and decreasing the delays, or, in other words, accelerating the NPD cycle. To explore this research question, first, I developed a conceptual model called CLIC: “Creative-Learning Innovation Cycle”. The CLIC is characterized by its uniqueness in highlighting the impact of the feedback received from the commercialization process on the managerial practices of leadership for creativity of the components of the work environment. The work environment directly affects the state of flow of creative people, and, subsequently, both the quality and speed of their learning and creativity processes. The CLIC combines Sanchez’s model of an organization’s learning process, Amabile’s componential theory of creativity, and, Csikszentmihalyi and Bakker’s State of Flow concept. Second, I tested the CLIC through two main research methods. I conducted exploratory and action research with a successful global innovation manager and two companies wrestling to accelerate their NPD processes in a changing work environment. The two companies deal with components and technological innovations. They differ in size, continent and products. Both companies innovate products related to health issues in an industry where high regulatory requirements are imposed. I also conducted a lab experiment in which 27 Masters students (18 males, 9 females) who were enrolled in an “Innovation Management” course voluntarily participated. The mean age was 23.5 years. The academic language was English. The exploration of the CLIC model in the course of conducting the comparative studies among the successful global innovation manager, the two companies, and the results of the lab experiment led to the emergence of a new theory about flow in work situations and organizational resources management. The theory defines and prioritizes five organizational resources that have to be managed during the NPD stages to let creative people experience a “state of flow” during their work. The foundation of the theory is that, following the impacts of feedback received from the external world, leaders’ managerial practices of organizational resources affect the state of flow of the people involved in the NPD process in an inverted U shape. Based on this inverted U shape and, as per the CLIC model, this theory prioritized the following five organizational resources to manage flow during the NPD stages: v A. Planning stage 1. Involving creative people in early market feedback during the planning stage would enhance their work absorption and their attention on the problems they are facing. B. Development stage 2. Putting creative people in direct communication with all the people who interact with the product and bring meaning to it, 3. Extending on a rational basis the time lines proposed by creative people, 4. And integrating the customer in the NPD process, mainly during testing phases, are likely to positively influence the intrinsic motivation of the creative people during the development stage. Hence, creative people would be committed to reach their goals by deploying their expertise to its utmost level without counting their working hours. C. Commercialization stage 5. Allow creative people to directly solicit and experience feedback from the VOC during the commercialization stage. This could constitute an enriching and joyful experience for them. In sum, the prioritization of these organizational resources during the NPD stages might constitute a beneficial roadmap to the managerial practices that should be used by leaders. The application of this theory by the leaders would regulate the balance between a challenging situation and the skills of the creative people, so the latter might be in the “state of flow”. Probable effects may be a boosted and an accelerated outcome of the NPD process, leading the organization to thrive in this seldom static world. Some leaders knew WHAT to do and HOW to enhance the creativity of their collaborators. However the understanding of the WHY that drives these managerial practices needed additional elucidation. This research project attempted to provide a potential answer to “WHY” leaders’ practices might enhance or hinder their collaborators’ state of flow; and, in finding the answer, it was thought that leaders and their collaborators may simultaneously enjoy work and savor life.

Tucci, Christopher L.
Lausanne, EPFL
Other identifiers:
urn: urn:nbn:ch:bel-epfl-thesis5502-3

Note: The status of this file is: EPFL only

 Record created 2012-12-05, last modified 2020-03-21

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)