A classic problem in organising corporate innovation projects is the tension between formalisation and flexibilisation. Connecting this discussion to the younger debate on ambidexterity, this paper asks how organisations balance informal and formal, flexible and inflexible ways of working in their innovation projects. It derives a way to break down formalisation and flexibilisation into the dimensions of power, communication and trust and connects them to learning. By unhinging formalisation and flexibilisation from the organisational level and looking at them at the small-scale level of specific projects and functional arenas instead, the paper sheds new light onto the various fashions in which formalisation and flexibilisation do not contradict, but complement each other. An empirical account based on 100 qualitative expert interviews illustrates this. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Social Sciences Interdisciplinary