Creativity and the management of technology: balancing creativity and standardization

Christina E. Shalley, Lucy L. Gilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


This thought piece represents an opportunity to integrate creativity and operations management (OM) research, and in particular the management of technology (MOT), to stimulate thinking and drive research across disciplines. Specifically, we discuss how there is an inherent tension when considering how work is organized and performed given that the majority of today's jobs require a certain degree of following routinized procedures, while some level of creativity is desirable as well. Therefore, there is the need to balance standardization with the desire for creativity, and this represents an inherent paradox. Here, we propose applying a creativity lens to the work categories used in OM, and discuss the implications of considering creativity as a process and an outcome that ranges along a continuum from incremental to radical. Our goal is to start a conversation that integrates the organizational creativity literature with OM and the MOT, and in doing so leads to future research and new developments in each of these literatures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-616
Number of pages12
JournalProduction and Operations Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Creativity
  • Management of technology
  • Paradox
  • Standardization


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