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Creativity, trust and systematic processes in product development

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  • Brattström, Anna
  • Löfsten, Hans
  • Richtnér, Anders
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    Abstract

    This paper addresses the challenge of striking a balance between, on one hand, mitigating uncertainty through the existence of systematic processes and structures and, on the other, stimulating creativity through allowable variation in work processes and structures. Both objectives are fundamental aspects of product development work. Our main finding is that both objectives can be achieved simultaneously. We introduce trust as a mediating variable. We show first, that being systematic in the processes for obtaining information and applying explicit organizational rules and structures in product development work creates an atmosphere of trust in the organization. Second, we show that trust increases creativity. The paper contributes to an understanding of how and why trust is important in product development organizations and of how trust can be actively managed. Above all, the paper contributes to the understanding of how uncertainty and creativity should be managed in organizations conducting product development.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048733311002253
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 743-755

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:4:p:743-755

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

    Related research

    Keywords: Trust; Creativity; Product development; Process; Structure;

    References

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    1. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1994. "The changing technology of technological change: general and abstract knowledge and the division of innovative labour," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 523-532, September.
    2. Heinze, Thomas & Shapira, Philip & Rogers, Juan D. & Senker, Jacqueline M., 2009. "Organizational and institutional influences on creativity in scientific research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 610-623, May.
    3. Holt, Knut, 1978. "Information inputs to new product planning and development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 342-360, October.
    4. Davila, Tony, 2000. "An empirical study on the drivers of management control systems' design in new product development," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 25(4-5), pages 383-409, May.
    5. Horsmans, J. Wim, 1979. "Innovation management for an industrial product," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 274-283, July.
    6. Nooteboom, B., 1996. "Trust, opportunism and governance: A process and control model," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-376064, Tilburg University.
    7. Schulze, Anja & Hoegl, Martin, 2008. "Organizational knowledge creation and the generation of new product ideas: A behavioral approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1742-1750, December.
    8. Keith J. Blois, 1999. "Trust in Business to Business Relationships: An Evaluation of its Status," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(2), pages 197-215, 03.
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