Handbook of Research on Leadership and Creativity
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Handbook of Research on Leadership and Creativity

Edited by Michael D. Mumford and Sven Hemlin

The rapid pace of technological change and globalization of products, competition and services have conspired to place a new premium on innovation for firms across the world. Although many variables influence creativity and innovation, the effective leadership of creative teams has proved especially important. This timely Handbook presents the state of the art for what leaders must do to lead creative teams and how they should do it.
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Chapter 3: Creativity, complexity, and organizational learning: Implications for leadership and governance

Robert K. Kazanjian

Abstract

Creativity increasingly takes place in organizational settings characterized by high levels of complexity and interdependence. For example, commercial and military aircraft, automobiles, enterprise software applications and other such products are composed of large numbers of discrete elements and sub-systems utilizing differing technologies that must be carefully integrated into a coherent whole. The developmental activities necessary for more novel, high-performing systems require high levels of individual and group creativity. In developing these types of products, firms rely upon governance mechanisms that are composed of many multi-functional teams, each responsible for the design of some sub-system of the overall project. In these settings, multiple levels of task interdependence affect creativity both positively and negatively. The authors begins by elaborating on the character of these complex settings and the role of creativity as central to the activity. He then describes the character of task interdependence at three levels. He concludes with a discussion of implications for specific leadership behaviors and associated governance mechanisms that can be employed to reinforce the potential for creativity.

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