Handbook of Research on Managing Managers

Handbook of Research on Managing Managers

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Adrian Wilkinson, Keith Townsend and Gabriele Suder

This book explores the changing role of managers in the workplace. In recent years, there has been considerable debate on the future of management, with both pessimistic and optimistic views being put forward. However, in the wake of delayering, downsizing, re-engineering and the pursuit of leanness, the more gloomy perspective has gained currency, especially in the popular managerial literature, and some have pronounced the end of management altogether. Some paint a more optimistic picture of managers and managers’ work with roles being transformed rather than replaced and the new organisational context providing more demanding work but greater autonomy and increased skill development. With contributions from experts in the field, this book is concerned with the way organisations manage their managers and how this continues to evolve with reference to global issues.

Chapter 14: Managing diversity for creativity and innovation in a complex world

Renata Kaminska and Béatrice Toustou

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour

Extract

The transition from the industrial to the knowledge economy is driven by globalisation, technological progress, deregulation and democratization (Halal and Taylor, 1999). For managers of business organisations, this new landscape opens a myriad of possibilities but at the same time it also presents new threats. Acceleration of knowledge production, global sourcing of knowledge creation, increasingly active consumers and the explosion of social networks, among other factors, create a context in which discontinuities are very likely and managers struggle to make sense of the rapidly changing world. As recently witnessed by emblematic organisations such as Sharp, Kodak, MSN or, more recently, Nokia and Blackberry, competitive advantage is difficult to sustain and past technological or market leadership is no guarantee of future success. In this context, innovation is by far the most important of organizational competencies. In the same line, creativity, antecedent to innovation, is increasingly recognised as critical for organisational performance. Costly and difficult to manage, these processes are characterised by causal ambiguity and high uncertainty as to their outcomes (Fonseca, 2002).

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