Easy Innovation and the Iron Cage: Best Practice, Benchmarking, Ranking, and the Management of Organizational Creativity


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The use of what came to be known as best practices, benchmarking, and ranking, which took corporate America by storm in the 1980s as a method for managing innovation, has seeped into government and nonprofit organizations in the intervening years. In fact, as H. George Frederickson demonstrates in this Kettering Foundation occasional paper, these practices have proven to be counterproductive both in the business and the public sector. Frederickson suggests, instead, a more flexible, less directive, model he calls “sustained innovation.” He offers abundant evidence that this model is more effective in producing organizational effectiveness.

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Civil Society
Theory and Practice