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Tight time - to be or not to be creative?
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2011 (English)In: Proceedings of the 6th European conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, vol 1 and 2 / [ed] Dr Heather Fulford, Centre for Entrepreneurship Aberdeen Business School Robert Gordon University Scotland, UK, Academic Conferences Limited, 2011, 593-598 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This study examines the role of creativity in an efficient product development organisation. Specifically, this study examines how engineers cope with these demands of being simultaneously creative and efficient. The engineers described the demands in different ways; “extremely lean organization”, “not enough time for development”, and “pressed time schedule”. The answers the engineers provided also describe how difficult it was to be simultaneously creative and efficient. The engineers had either the intention to be or not to be creative when it came to efficient product development; that is, they either (1) confronted and opposed high demands or (2) adapted and worked more than they could handle or (3) avoided being creative and focused on efficiency.

This study shows that the engineers themselves were forced to set the limit when unreasonable demands arose. The first group stressed the importance of resisting creative work when the demands of work were too high. The strategy was to discuss with the managers why it was impossible to be both creative and efficient. The second group adapted to the demand of being simultaneously creative and efficient, but often took more work than they could handle. The fear of saying “no” to a supervisor’s demands forced creativity forward, but this was a dangerous balancing act as this could result in demands beyond worker’s time constraints. For this group, this choice could be a health risk. The third group avoided being creative and concentrated only on being efficient when the pressure of both efficiency and creativity was perceived as being too much. This group often avoided presenting a “good” idea because then they would be responsible for implementing the new idea. This meant they chose a “secure solution” (even if the “solution” was incomplete) rather than taking a risk on a more innovative solution. The work organization needs to support the demand of being simultaneously creative and efficient.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Conferences Limited, 2011. 593-598 p.
Keyword [en]
creativity, efficiency, lean, innovation, employees, initiative
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-71187ISI: 000310338800072ISBN: 978-1-908272-14-0OAI: diva2:445582
6th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, 15-16 September 2011
Available from: 2011-10-04 Created: 2011-10-04 Last updated: 2016-02-19Bibliographically approved

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