Handbook of Organizational and Entrepreneurial Ingenuity

Handbook of Organizational and Entrepreneurial Ingenuity

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Edited by Benson Honig, Joseph Lampel and Israel Drori

The editors of this Handbook, Benson Honig, Joseph Lampel and Israel Drori, define organizational ingenuity as ‘the ability to create innovative solutions within structural constraints using limited resources and imaginative problem solving’. They and the authors examine the dichotomy between organizational freedom and necessity in order to better understand the role of ingenuity in the success of an organization.

Chapter 8: Ingenuity as creative unfolding: framing the frame in haute cuisine

Ninja Natalie Senf, Jochen Koch and Wasko Rothmann

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, organisational behaviour


Organizations are increasingly forced to be creative and innovative to ensure sustained competitive advantage (Lampel et al., 2000). However, it can be assumed that the space for creativity is often limited by institutional forces. In this chapter we explore the institutional context and its impact on and interplay with the creative freedom of organizations embedded in that frame. For that purpose we focus on the case of haute cuisine, i.e. high-end gourmet restaurants. This setting is instructive due to two main reasons: first, the field of haute cuisine can be considered a highly institutionalized context with apparently strict standards and codes with which the restaurants have to comply (Durand et al., 2007; Fauchart and von Hippel, 2008; Ottenbacher and Harrington, 2007a; Rao et al., 2003). Second, creativity and innovation have evolved into a major evaluation criterion to determine the gastronomic quality and hence the success of the organizations (Ferguson, 1998; Rao et al., 2003; Fauchart and von Hippel, 2008). Therefore, creativity and change are vital for long-term competitive advantage. Hence, the institutional frame on the one hand encourages and even requires creativity and innovation, while on the other hand induces clear limits and standards within which 'innovative' actions have to take place (Durand et al., 2007; Svejenova et al., 2007). This reciprocal, but surprisingly neglected (Stierand and Sandt, 2007), relationship between the institutional frame and the space for culinary creativity of the chefs will be analyzed in the following.

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