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When Process Is Getting in the Way of Creativity and Innovation

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Abstract

With increasing hypercompetition, information systems have become the main driver for sustaining innovation and competitive advantages. At the same time, many companies use various quality management standards and process models to increase business process efficiency and improve quality. How these process models and quality standards influence organizational cultures that enhance creativity and innovation is, however, under-researched within the field. Using a software analysis tool built on the competing values framework, we set out to investigate how commonly used process models and quality standards promote cultures of creativity and innovation. Our findings are overwhelmingly negative as the analyzed models and standards clearly promote an organizational culture emphasizing stability and control rather than creativity and innovation. To reconcile our findings with the nature of these models and standards, we suggest a new way forward by providing managers with theory-based guidelines to cope with cultural challenges of process improvement and quality management.

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