EXPLORING TENSIONS BETWEEN CREATIVITY AND CONTROL IN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
Editor: Christian Weber, Stephan Husung, Marco Cantamessa, Gaetano Cascini, Dorian Marjanovic, Francesca Montagna
Author: Bojesson, Catarina; Backstroem, Tomas; Bjurstroem, Erik
Institution: Maelardalen University, Sweden
Section: Design Organisation and Management
To sustain organizational performance in dynamic contexts, organizations must be able to change through innovation while still continuing to perform in the short term. Central to successful innovation is to understand and manage tensions, paradoxes, contradictions, and dilemmas. This paper will present empirical data from a single case study discussed in relation to institutional theory in connection to organizational tensions and conflicts. Results show examples of a strong focus on proactive approaches with attempts to control and manage product development projects in a strict manner, even though the organization is acting in a context characterized by uncertainty with a need for creativity and a reactive approach. This shows a lacking understanding of what is required of the project process in this context and the tensions created between the strict process control and the dynamic environment. Conclusions point at the need for both creativity and control in the management of product development projects. However, there is a risk of strong institutions preventing organizations from recognizing the need for change.