Balance between Control and Freedomin the Management of Innovation

University essay from KTH/Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.)

Author: Eduard Munkhart; [2014]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: Active management and promotion of innovation has become a more and more important aspectof strategic management of most companies. Crucially important for increasing innovation is thecreation of an environment that supports and fosters innovation within the organization. Previousresearch particularly points out that the appropriate enabling of freedom in different aspects ofwork conduction while implementing suitable control mechanisms is the most challenging part.Since it is believed that previous attempts to identify promising practices to handle this dualismfailed to result in consistent conclusions due to the highly contextual dependence of the findings,the aim of this thesis is to elaborate a framework and therefrom a tool to allow different workenvironments to be depicted and compared with regards to control and freedom. The work isbased on a study of twelve distinct innovative cases in eight different organizations.The final outcome is a tool allowing the description and comparison of the degree of freedomand control in a work environment in a simple and intuitive way. The first application within thisstudy disclosed that cultural control seems not to be perceived as a method of control byindividuals. Furthermore, a qualitative inverse proportionality seems to delineate between meansof cultural control and formal control across environments such as the control of working timeand location..Apart from the established tool and underlying framework, examined practices of innovationmanagement are reflected in the investigated literature, confirming certain findings which is alsodisclosed within this thesis.

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