Complexity Arrangements for Sustained Innovation: Lessons from 3M Corporation
Garud, R., Gehman, J., & Kumaraswamy, A. (2011). Complexity Arrangements for Sustained Innovation: Lessons from 3M Corporation. Organization Studies, 32(6), 737–767. http://doi.org/10.1177/0170840611410810
Innovation processes are complex. It is through local interactions among people and technologies that diverse and novel outcomes emerge. Even when governed by simple rules, such interactions can generate nonlinear temporal dynamics. Given such complexities, how might an organization sustain innovation for continued growth and vitality? Drawing on an in-depth study of innovation practices and journeys at 3M Corporation, we identify how combinations of practices – which we conceptualize as complexity arrangements – afford multiple agentic orientations simultaneously for the actors involved and thereby facilitate sustained innovation.