Institutional Work that Ensures Innovation


Is the institutionalisation of innovation a self-contradicting concept? Just as people once expected bureaucracy to embody rationality and legitimacy as a source of order in an unstable society, the institution provides purpose and support to the people affiliated with it. Rather than resulting in inflexible or unchanging organisations, the institution leads organisations to change; therefore, it requires constant maintenance to achieve desirable outcomes. This paper discusses the practical functionality of a bureaucracy that contributes to innovation and to management that elicits this capability for renewal, through analysis of the Urgent Project System at Sharp Corporation (the System). Within the System are three embedded bureaucratic principles—delegation through specialisation, conformity to authority, and sanctification of rule—even though Sharp’s official policy on the System incorporated the principles regarding debureaucratisation.

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