Creativity and Control: A Paradox. Evidence from the Levers of Control Framework
48 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2014 Last revised: 13 Nov 2014
Date Written: August 14, 2014
Both control and creativity are important drivers of organizational success. However, often they are regarded as conflicting organizational aspects with differing aims. We use the Levers of Control (LoC) framework to examine the relationships between a system of controls, empowerment, and creativity. Using survey data from 233 Business Unit managers, a structural equation model shows that the intensity of use of a LoC system of controls is positively associated with both empowerment and creativity. The implication is that the LoC system provides an environment that is rich with information and motivates employees to take action in directed ways. This environment facilitates employees’ perception that they have the ability to take actions, make decisions, and produce novel ideas. We conclude that there is not a conflict between control and creativity per se. Rather, paradoxically, creativity can flourish in the presence of control.
Keywords: management control, system of controls, creativity, empowerment, levers of control
JEL Classification: M40, L20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation