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Development Of Creativity And Innovation In MBA’s Organizational Climate

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This report entails the way in which creativity and innovation can be developed at MBA through diagnosis of its organizational climate. It was apparent through the Keys assessment that there are issues across the organizational and group level of MBA causing creativity and innovation to be inhibited.

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The analysis in this report conveys through use of Interactionist models that an environment and a suitable climate for MBA can only be developed through changes to leadership, finance, infrastructure and people based relationships. The tools used in this report have allowed to diagnose the changes needed. The key recommendations of this report to MBA are inclusive of developing a fair system, incorporating performance management ERP systems and shared vision environment are all followed from the analysis.

Introduction

Exploitation and exploration are critical to organizational prosperity and long-term survival. Ambidexterity refers to the ability of an organization to both exploit and explore. In other words, to deliver efficiency, control, and incremental improvements, while embracing flexibility, autonomy, and experimentation. Maintaining appropriate balance between exploitation and exploration is critical since too much innovation may produce an excess of immature technologies, whereas too much refinement may lead to a reduction in variability at the expense of discovery of better alternatives. Achieving ambidexterity can be difficult as innovation and refinement compete for finite organizational resources as well as stand in relative tension. For instance, short-term benefits may not necessarily be advantageous in the long term and vice versa.

The primary focus of this report is on group and organizational levels with specific focus on MatchBox Architects (MBA). The question of “How” to promote creativity and innovation within the corporate will be answered through this report to allow for a sustained optimistic climate in which knowledge sharing is streamlined. Through use of distinct models and frameworks, the suitable climate at MBA can be developed and this is the key aim of this report. These organizational transformation based models such as given by Loewenberg, Isaksen and Turner will be prominently used in the report to guide MBA towards a climate that sustains change and fosters it with ability of integrating creativity and innovation. Through use of KEYS organizational climate assessment scores as obtained from participation of MBA employees, it will be possible to know the factors inhibiting the development of creativity and innovation. With diagnosing these factors, the path towards development of ambidexterity across the multiple levels of the firm can be achieved because with analysis of issues provides ability to brainstorm more options. The purpose remains in allowing creativity, innovation and corporate entrepreneurship to sustain at MBA for it to develop into a large sized firm. The report will cover VUCA (Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) environment wherein MBA is operating, KEYS analysis of the results for MBA to find out the inhibiting organizational barriers, evaluation of organizational climate issues causing change management problems and how this can be made efficient through ambidexterity, creation of ambidexterity at various levels of the firm will be the key goal. Moreover, leadership evaluation will also be essential with focus on organizational and group level. It is evident that with the help of a climate created to sustain creativity, innovation, corporate entrepreneurship and leadership, it will be possible for MBA to become ambidextrous. More than that creativity and innovation being inter-linked allow for enhanced productivity and growth particularly through competitive advantage. At MBA, as the company is in its growing stages, the benefits of creativity and innovation are seamless. All the key issues that MBA currently faces, can be mitigated through creativity and innovation The key values of MBA remain in providing excellence to its customers, becoming integrated and known for satisfying the needs of the customers. Each of these require the support of creativity and innovation under the presence of corporate entrepreneurial leadership to allow MBA to manage change seamlessly. The company founded in 2009 is well on its path towards success and with the Keys analysis of organizational climate, it will be possible to assess how it can continue towards success through creativity and innovation through mitigation of the factors inhibiting its creative situations from developing. MBA has an overarching vision of becoming a company that serves the purpose of its client base while also constantly caring for the environment. If MBA properly understands the change dynamics and adapts to the emerging landscape issues in businesses, it will prosper and that is possible only through a climate of creativity, innovation and suitable leadership.

Leadership vision assessment at MBA

As per the Keys assessment, leadership issues at MBA persist as apparent from the low score in the organizational support scale and supervisory encouragement scale. From the perspective of MBA, shared vision is also inadequate apparent from the lack of trust at the organizational and group level. It is essential for MBA to develop shared understanding with heightened involvement and more prominent flow of communication such as through use of bottom up and top-to bottom approaches integration. At MBA, the integration of communication is only along the top-bottom structure. As apparent from the Keys scale, the freedom of the employees at MBA is inadequate. In order to foster enhanced freedom being given to the employees, hierarchies should be eliminated to allow transformational leadership climate to develop. It is better to not intimidate or humiliate or ridicule the employees with premature evaluation completely avoided at MBA. According to Loewenberger, there are several ways by which a climate of new ideas generation can be ensured through suitable leadership. The MBA senior management should focus on creativity clubs, should focus on employees constant skill development as well as facilitation.

The use of rewards and recognition as per the Key Scales are below the set criteria of Keys scale as identified by Amabile. At MBA moreover, most of the tasks are project oriented with project teams working on the tasks so team based contribution can be rewarded to alleviate performance of the team extrinsically and intrinsically. Above all, the leadership should foster a climate where risk is fostered through engaging the employees of MBA and communicating with them. Through development of shared values, open communication can be ascertained through (top down and down up approach integration). Sharing knowledge should be at the core of MBA organizational climate. Yukl, has provided clear steps towards development of a shared leadership environment where leadership can help in mitigating the creativity blocks. These steps can be considered to be followed by MBA comprising of: MBA holding a clear vision on what has to be achieved by the teams at the organizational level. The vision’s requirement of credible strategy should be communicated Leaders should show confidence and optimism regarding the success, and emphasize only on the positive influences.

Analysis

Amabile has developed the Keys scale to identify the barriers in the organizational climate of a firm. At MBA, through use of this tool, and participation from the MBA employees has allowed for assessing the key organizational barriers at the group and organizational level. There are also other models such as Situational Outlook Questionnaire developed by Isaksen but this will be referred to when analyzing the finalized findings of overall organizational barriers at MBA from Keys results. These depict the work environment factors which impact creativity inclusive of creativity encouragement (organizational encouragement, supervisory encouragement, work group supports), freedom autonomy, resources, pressures and impediments towards creativity. Each of these has been measured for MBA to find out the organizational barriers inhibiting creativity. As per the Keys scale graph, there were prominently three areas of keys scale where MBA scored low inclusive of lower supervisory engagement, lower freedom, low productivity and heightened pressure of tasks done by the executives with higher organizational impediments. Organizational impediments comprise risk avoidance, inadequate organizational encouragement and also desire of maintaining status quo. These are also the prominent impediments visible as barriers at MBA. On the contrary, these impediments should be replaced at MBA through the organizational encouragement factors with heightened support such as ensuring a shared vision, new ideas open ness, trust fostered, failure acceptance, rewarding, implementing mechanisms, group’s encouragement and creative people mentored. At present these factors require to be encouraged at MBA. The organizational creativity and innovation climate has to be sustained through various factors such as of trust, of freedom, of support, humour, arguments, risks and conflict inadequacy.

However from the Keys analysis, it is apparent that the prominent 3 barriers such as avoiding risk, higher status quo maintenance and lack of trust between the members at the organizational level. These factors are inhibiting creative situations and creating cognitive blocks. As per the SOQ tool given by Isaksen, the factors in the climate such as less freedom and less trust result in creating creativity blocks. At MBA the Keys scale shows that freedom is lesser in MBA with less autonomy given to the employees to select the projects. This can cause the MBA executives to feel workload pressure because they are directly allocated with tasks. Moreover trust is inadequate so organizational support and supervisory encouragement are both lower for MBA. These are also restricting creativity development.

Change management concerns at MBA within the VUCA environment

Due to the extremely volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous factors in the environment of MBA, the change management has been inhibited as well. Change management has become even more difficult in the turmoil of this VUCA world. It can be implied that MBA has not been able to appropriately manage the change situations due to difficulty in establishment of an urgency sense, guiding coalition is missing, vision is inadequate and vision is not shared with the executives. This is evident from the perspective that the organizational structure of MBA employs top-down communication which can cause inhibition to develop a shared environment. Moreover, according to the force field concept, the working practices in a firm are responsible for QSE (Quasi-stationary equilibrium to develop). However for MBA, this is missing because the work practices are resulting in restraining forces to be present rather than driving forces. When attempts in such an organizational climate are made towards change, it results in enhancing stress and more aggressiveness levels. For example, from the Keys result it is evident that the organizational executives of MBA at the group and organizational level are constantly avoiding risk. This is a restraining factor and therefore any attempts made to change the climate to foster change management, also fails because change comes with risk being fostered not avoided as per scholars.

Leadership Vision Assessment at MBA

As per the Keys assessment, leadership issues at MBA persist as apparent from the low score in the organizational support scale and supervisory encouragement scale. From the perspective of MBA, shared vision is also inadequate apparent from the lack of trust at the organizational and group level. It is essential for MBA to develop shared understanding with heightened involvement and more prominent flow of communication such as through use of bottom up and top-to bottom approaches integration. At MBA, the integration of communication is only along the top-bottom structure.

As apparent from the Keys scale, the freedom of the employees at MBA is inadequate. In order to foster enhanced freedom being given to the employees, hierarchies should be eliminated to allow transformational leadership climate to develop. It is better to not intimidate or humiliate or ridicule the employees with premature evaluation completely avoided at MBA. According to Loewenberger, there are several ways by which a climate of new ideas generation can be ensured through suitable leadership. The MBA senior management should focus on creativity clubs, should focus on employees constant skill development as well as facilitation.

At MBA moreover, most of the tasks are project oriented with project teams working on the tasks so team based contribution can be rewarded to alleviate performance of the team extrinsically and intrinsically. Above all, the leadership should foster a climate where risk is fostered through engaging the employees of MBA and communicating with them. Through development of shared values, open communication can be ascertained through (top down and down up approach integration). Sharing knowledge should be at the core of MBA organizational climate.

Developing authentic leadership is necessary but as MBA presently grapples with difficulties related to exploration and exploitation of innovation which have to be well-balanced, , says to adopt a leadership style of ambidextrous nature. At MBA, the leaders need to start with behaviors that foster exploration and exploitation within the follower groups with focus over routines being broken and narrowing down the structure to allow for seamless information flow. So, the significance of developing and managing ambidexterity at MBA is apparent.

Ambidexterity At Multi Levels Of The Organization

Chaos and complexity have to be removed from MBA organizational climate especially within the VUCA environment. The 4 principles of innovation have to be considered by MBA at organizational and group level: To have equilibrium To be self-organized through freedom to select tasks being given Complicated tasks dealt through complicated processes for problem solving The top level managers at MBA would have to adopt holistic approach towards ensuring MBA becomes a learning organization At present MBA faces old values being considered when Senge’s, 2016, five disciplines can be considered inclusive of mental models, individual mastery, building a shared vision, learning of teams being encouraged and a system thinking framework being adopted by MBA to manage ambidexterity.

According to Turner, ambidexterity is the balance of exploration and exploitative ability. With values of MBA sustained at being open and sharing, innovation can be speed up across the levels of MBA. With MBA executives given the possibility to develop any solution, work in collaboration with their teams and take risks, the ambidexterity balance can be ascertained. The multiple level ambidextrous mechanism model of Turner et al, should be considered for MBA which brings forward right and suitable conditions at the organizational and group level through development of intellectual capital resources comprising organizational capital, social capital and human capital. At the organizational level, organizational capital of MBA needs to have no hierarchies. The inter-organizational relationships should be developed and maintained as they are being inhibited through the lower organizational support. It is also possible for integrating the formal and informal structures at MBA through integration of top-down and down-top approach as informed by Loewenberger in their research paper.

Moreover, the social capital should be organized at MBA with knowledge sharing abilities and use of HRD practice to support innovation such as use of best practices for hiring and use of training and development. Human capital at MBA organizational level also requires to be streamlined because as per Keys assessment there are issues at this level. This requires top management teams integration, reconfiguration of the assets of the firm through appropriate leadership and the leader’s abilities to balance the exploitation and exploration elements of ambidexterity.

Conclusion

MBA can certainly be considered as an organization that should readily transition and transform towards being a firm that supports creativity and innovation. It has resources, there is advanced leadership capabilities and it has the ability of highly qualified and skillful employees. However, the resource capabilities are not of significant use with organizational barriers holding MBA from developing into a creative and innovative firm with transformational corporate entrepreneurship. The Keys assessment scale results depicts diagnostic analysis of MBA with key issues of risk being avoided, statusquo and lack of trust. This report shows how these factors at the organizational and group level inhibit development of an organization into a creative firm. The leadership vision requires a strong and shared sense with the organizational climate having capabilities to support the change in the VUCA world. With shared vision, top management at MBA can foster the need of creativity in their employee groups. Staff perception on freedom for voicing thoughts and choosing their works are all crucial for motivation of creativity and innovative capabilities. MBA therefore should also consider interventions of top-down and down-up nature being integrated to result in efficient leadership with good generation of ideas at the group level.

15 July 2020

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