Linking constraints in idea generation theory with standardisation in product and service innovation

Authors

  • Ivan Navarro Gonzalez Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

Keywords:

Standards, Standardisation, Idea generation, Constraints, Innovation

Abstract

From the literature it is known that standards may positively impact innovation, but how? This paper focuses on the role of standards in the creativity part of the innovation process. Standards put constraints, and this might hinder creativity. Applying the theory of constraints, it is argued that the opposite can be the case: standards may stimulate creativity. Standards may set input constraints, process constraints or output constraints, and may influence innovation via different routes: the motivational route, the cognitive route and the social route. Standards can be both internal standards, defined by the company itself, and external standards. These may apply both to products and to services. Current literature tends to focus on output constraints only: by providing requirements for products or services, standards steer the creativity in the preferred direction and may trigger the development of solutions that meet the requirements. But standards may provide input and process constraints as well. In the product case this can be understood using the concepts of component commonality, platforms, modularity and postponement. For services, standards may apply to, for instance, service delivery, service results, precautions, and ethical codes for employees. But also for services modularity may apply: services can be assembled in service packages.

References

Acar, O. A., Tarakci, M., & van Knippenberg, D. (2018). Creativity and innovation under constraints: A cross-disciplinary integrative review. Journal of Management, 45(1), 96-121.

Amabile, T. (1996). Creativity in context. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Amabile, T. M., & Pratt, M. G. (2016). The dynamic componential model of creativity and innovation in organizations: Making progress, making meaning. Research in Organizational Behavior, 36: 157-183. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.riob.2016.10.001.

Baker, T., & Nelson, R. E. (2005). Creating something from nothing: Resource construction through entrepreneurial bricolage. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50(3): 329-3. https://doi.org/10.2189/asqu.2005.50.3.329.

Blind, K., & Gauch, S., (2009). Research and standardisation in nanotechnology: evidence from Germany. The Journal of Technology TransferI, 34(3), 320–342. 34(3):320-342. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-008-9089-8.

Davis, S. (1987). Future perfect. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

De Clercq, D., Dimov, D., & Thongpapanl, N. T. (2013). Organizational social capital, formalization, and internal knowledge sharing in entrepreneurial orientation formation. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 37(3), 505- 537. https://doi.org/10.1111/etap.12021.

de Vries, H. J. (2008). Standardisation: A Business Science Perspective. In: J. Schueler, A. Fickers and A. Hommels (Eds) Bargaining Norms, Arguing Standards – Negotiating Technical Standards. (STT74). The Hague: STT Netherlands Study Centre for Technology Trends, pp. 18-32. https://stt.nl/stt/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/stt-toekomstverkenning-74-bargaining-norms-arguing-standards.pdf.

de Vries, H. J., & Verhagen, W. P. (2016). Impact of changes in regulatory performance standards on innovation: A case of energy performance standards for new-built houses. Technovation, 48-49, 56-68. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.technovation.2016.01.008.

de Vries, H. J., & Wiegmann, P. M. (2017). Impact of service standardization on service innovation. In: R. Hawkins, K. Blind and R. Page (Eds) Handbook of Standards and Innovation. Cheltenham, UK / Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, pp. 187-211.

de Vries, H. J., Jans, R., & Halemane, M. (2018). Product Standardization – Rethinking the concepts. (Unpublished draft).

de Vries, H. (2021). Meeting COVID-19 rules: A multiple case study of standardisation and innovation in the cultural sector. In K. Jakobs (Ed.), Joint proceedings EURAS 2021 – Standardisation and Innovation / SIIT 2021 – The Past, Present and Future of ICT Standardisation (Vol. 16, pp. 155-170). EURAS contributions to standardisation research Vol. 16.

Gilson, L. L., Mathieu, J. E., Shalley, C. E., and Ruddy, T. M. (2005). Creativity and standardization: Complementary or conflicting drivers of team effectiveness? Academy of Management Journal, 48(3), 521-531. https://doi.org/10.5465/AMJ.2005.17407916.

Hawkins, R. Blind, K., & Page, R. (Eds) (2017). Handbook of Standards and Innovation. Cheltenham, UK / Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.

Labro, E., (2004). The cost effects of component-commonality: A literature review through a management-accounting lens, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 6(4), 358-367. https://doi.org/10.1287/msom.1040.0047.

Moreau, C. P., and Dahl, D. W. (2005). Designing the solution: The impact of constraints on consumers' creativity. Journal of Consumer Research, 32(1), 13-22.

OECD / Eurostat (2018). Oslo Manual 2018 – Guidelines for Collecting, Reporting and Using Data on Innovation, 4th Edition. Paris: OECD / Luxembourg: Eurostat. https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264304604-en.

Robertson, D., & Ulrich, K., (1998). Planning for product Platforms, Sloan Management Review, 39(4), 19-31.

Rosso, B. D. (2014). Creativity and constraints: Exploring the role of constraints in the creative processes of research and development teams. Organization Studies, 35(4), 551-585. https://doi.org/10.1177/0170840613517600.

Ulrich, K.T., & Eppinger S.D., (2000). Product design and development. Ed. 2, New York: McGraw-Hill.

Ward, Th. B. (1994). Structured Imagination: The Role of Category Structure in Exemplar Generation, Cognitive Psychology, 27(1), 1–40. https://doi.org/10.1006/cogp.1994.1010.

Downloads

Published

2022-10-04

How to Cite

Navarro Gonzalez, I. (2022). Linking constraints in idea generation theory with standardisation in product and service innovation. Journal of Standardisation, 1. Retrieved from https://journals.open.tudelft.nl/jos/article/view/6744

Issue

Section

Articles