Handbook of Organizational and Entrepreneurial Ingenuity

Handbook of Organizational and Entrepreneurial Ingenuity

Elgar original reference

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 12: Stimulating organizational ingenuity with design methods

Judy Matthews

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, organisational behaviour


Organizations invest in ways to stimulate new ideas for new products and services for the benefit of the organization, engaging in tournaments and competitions to generate new ideas or to combine existing ideas in new ways for new products and services (Terweisch and Uhlrich, 2009). Specifically, some large companies have developed platforms for posting intractable problems to tap into the ideas and problem solving abilities of a broader range of people (Huston and Sakkab, 2006; Morgan and Wang, 2010), and to develop new and elegant solutions often in an open innovation approach (Chesbrough, 2003). The notion of ingenuity is often applied to individuals who create innovative solutions in situations of constraint, where ingenuity in the form of elegant solutions can be understood as one form of resourcefulness (Young, 2011). However, the notion of organizational ingenuity locates ingenuity more centrally to an organization's strategic decision making and implementation, embedding ingenuity into the company's culture. Studies of organizations displaying ingenuity indicate a range of possibilities from extreme ingenuity (Baker and Nelson, 2005) to less dramatic but substantial changes (Thomke, 2003), sometimes in an experimental phase or as part of a move towards a new and distinct identity for ongoing innovation.

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