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HRM Role in Spurring Creativity and Innovation

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It outlines the best practices in Human Resources Management, mainly when it comes to triggering and stimulating creativity and innovation within organizations. It sheds the light on what really influences our creative thinking, and how it would affect businesses’ products and services provided within an innovative framework. It highlights the role of HRM in shaping employees creativity within organizations through having an essential role in asserting the company’s culture, working environment, and training programs.

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HRM Role in Spurring Creativity and Innovation

  1. 1. PatrickFavre Grenoble,France HABIBABOUSALEH Grenoble,France HRM Role in Stimulating Creativity & Innovation within Organizations? Abstract: This log book outlines the best practices in Human Resources Management, mainly when it comes to triggering and stimulating creativity and innovation within organizations. It sheds the light on what really influences our creative thinking, and how it would affect businesses’ products and services provided within an innovative framework.It highlights the role of HRM in shaping employees creativity within organizations through having an essential role in asserting the company’s culture, working environment, and training programs.
  2. 2. Table of Contents Introduction ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3 What Triggers Our Creativity?............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 4 Stimulating Creativity within Organizations..................................................................................................................................................................................... 4 Organizational Culture ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 5 HRM and Organizations’Working Environment................................................................................................................................................................................... 6 Managers’ Roles in triggering Creativity.............................................................................................................................................................................................. 7 HRM and Challenges.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7 Conclusion............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 8
  3. 3. Introduction We live in today’s world, where the old fashioned way of conducting business no longer exists. Technological advancements and globalization have shaped our lives and the way business is conducted. New business models have replaced the old ones in order to secure survival in today’s business market, and its fierce competition. Succeeding is no longer an easy task to achieve. It requires leading through dynamically complex and volatile environment, where individuals and members are driven by operational excellence and collaboration across different functions and departments within an organization, while developing higher quality leadership, talents and creativity, to unleash new innovative potentials and possibilities (Burma 2014). If we really take a moment to look around us, observe and think, we can arrive at the conclusion that our surroundings and every aspect of our environment are the result of creativity and innovative thinking. As employees are considered the most valuable asset, Businesses, organizations and corporations are seeking adaptation to the continuously evolving situation by embracing creative thinking (Burma 2014, Masnan and al. 2008, IBM Global Business 2015). Creative and innovative people have the potential and capacities to approach problems and solutions from different perspectives, putting ideas together in new combinations, and thus creating and adding more value to their work. Knowing that HRM is the main source of human capital within organizations regardless of their type (ex: Public, Private or even NGO), geographical location (ex: Local, or International), or size (ex: small, medium or big), HRM can play a crucial role in creating the adequate fertile environment for creativity to constantly grow, prosper and be stimulated toward innovative outcomes.
  4. 4. What Triggers Our Creativity? According to Scott Barry Kaufman (2011), there are situational factors beyond our personalities which play an essential role in the type of processing styles we adopt on a moment to moment basis. It is continuously shifting without our own awareness, due to our continuous interaction through our senses, with the way we observe, touch, taste, listen or even smell. They all affect our analytical thoughts, and most importantly our creativity, which leads to innovation. Thus understanding our environment is a key element to boost our creativity. It is noted that HRM practices have a major role in understanding the business environment from every aspect and adapting it within suitable, fertile framework. This is a key element in stimulating creative and innovative behaviors, especially within organizations. These practices, which can be applied to every environment, organization’s type or identity, should revolve around our environment where our senses are in continuous dynamic interaction in order to soar to new creative heights. Stimulating Creativity within Organizations According to Masnan and al. (2008), IBM Global Business (2015), Burma 2014, businesses and organizations around the world agree that the most valuable asset is their human capital. It contributes to their everyday development and business competitiveness. As a result, embracing the path of innovation within their industries and businesses, mainly when it comes to creating and adding values to the products and services provided, is a must. In addition, understanding that the authentic outcomes of creativity are innovation, organizations tend to stimulate creativity to boost innovation among their employees. HRM can act on three main levels when it comes assuring qualified employees, including training and motivating them, while ensuring proper working conditions suitable for fostering creativity and innovation (Muscalu et al. 2012, Lache 2010, Burma 2014, Karlsson 2013, Marin 2012). These Factors can be classified into three main paths:  Organizational culture  Organization’s working environment  Managerial Level .
  5. 5. ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE According to Martin and al. (2003), Marin (2012), Stanleigh (2015) organizational culture, especially in an international environment, plays a vital role in the success of any organization. It provides the necessary framework to absorb creativity, which leads to innovation in the organizational culture and management processes. HRM has the ability to create, protect, and build an organizational culture as it is the cornerstone for creativity and innovation, as all the hiring processes, and training programs, and cultural imperatives placed on the business are done through proper HRM practices (Stanleigh, 2015). HRM can have an impact over the organizational culture by addressing the following four touching points: HRM and Corporate Strategy: HRM can improve and assert a proper understanding of the company-shared vision and strategy which is future focused to motivate employees to be creative and innovative (Burma 2014, Karlsson 2013, Marin 2012). It also highlight the importance of being HRM and Corporate Structure: Selective hiring processes are a key element in choosing diversified, well-structured teams, which have a great influence on the level of creativity and innovation that takes place within the working environment inside any organization. Diversified, complementary talents between individuals pushes creativity/innovation to different heights. Also HRM should stress the importance of individuals’ relationships. They should be based on respect and trust, with high level of openness to others’ points of views, ideas and perspectives, no matter how different they can be, not to forget effective channels of communications (Karlsson 2013, Marin 2012). HRM in Encouraging Creative Behavior & Means of Support: It is essential to create suitable incentives for creativity. Rewards and recognition are a must but at the same time rewarding systems need to be matched with each individuals’ personality to attain the best outcomes (Martin and al. 2003, Karlsson 2013, Marin 2012).
  6. 6. HRM and Effective Communication: HRM can highlight, build and supervise the implementation of open, transparent communication policies based on trust and respect, which have a great influence, motivating and stimulating creativity and innovation. Open door policies without any hierarchical barriers open the flow of ideas and creative thinking, thus leading to innovative outcomes. These elements once merged together in a fruitful frame, built through effective HRM within the organization, help in creating a genuine organizational culture that triggers creativity, leading to innovation within organizations and societies. HRM AND ORGANIZATIONS’ WORKING ENVIRONMENT According to Richard Branson, the author and founder of Virgin Group, a “healthy company culture starts with treating your employees the way you want to be treated”. From this perspective, and according to Richard Florida and Jim Goodnight (2005), it is important to value the work over tools by helping employees show their best through efficient HRM practices to stimulate their minds, reward their excellence with challenges rather than materialistic incentives, and minimize hassles at work. HRM and Bureaucracy: Creative and innovative people at work are mainly driven by two key elements: passion and challenges. Regardless of their daily functional tasks or the department they belong to, they crave the feeling of accomplishment once the task is completed. They starve for another challenge due to their inner energy, which is wrapped with passion for the job they do or the function they occupy. Most researchers, and among them Hirst, G. et al (2011), agree that bureaucratic practices constrain and limit creativity and innovation to a great extent. So in order to keep employees engaged, and clear petty obstacles from their way so they shine, HRM can emphasize the negative effect bureaucracy has on creativity and innovation within organizations, by addressing such an issue with top senior management and presenting them with new processes and tools, since such change should start all the way from top-down. HR Role in Stimulating Minds: Superior performance is the consequence of energized mental abilities. Proper effective HRM training programs, processes and practices can lead to major understanding of methodology of continuous learning and challenges involved to motivate employees and stimulate their minds by putting them in challenging working environments, faced with new dilemmas and interesting tasks. Training programs can provide them with the necessary tools, while putting them in the right direction for innovation (Lache 2010, Burma 2014, Marin 2012, and Karlsson 2013).
  7. 7. HRM is important at this point as it understands each employees’ mind set, capabilities and potentials which is also essential in addressing the type and level of training programs and processes required to help employees realize their goals. In Place Performance Evaluation Systems: According to Davidson 2011, HRM can play a strategic role by helping their organization stimulate and build up creative and innovative thinking. This is why HR leaders should realize the importance of creativity and innovation in building up a comparative advantage for the organization they work for. One way is through putting in place an effective feedback process (ex: feedback 360o) through the implementation of effective performance evaluation systems that measure individual behavioral performance. MANAGERS’ ROLES IN TRIGGERING CREATIVITY: According to Amabile (1998), managers play a vital role in ensuring company culture and boosting creativity as they are the link between top management and employees. Company vision, strategies, policies and procedures are communicated through them in order to promote the organization culture. They have the power to bring people together, and facilitate the exchange of ideas. HRM can play an important role in matching suitable people for managerial positions to the right roles. Arranging feedback and questions & answer sessions might also have a great influence. Furthermore, continuous managerial training programs such as Leadership Development Programs for managers can help them stay in track , spur and capture creativity (Lache 2010, Burma 2014, Karlsson2013).Inaddition, foreseeing and recruiting what is needed ahead of time can facilitate the working process and eliminate some obstacles, which waste time, money and effort. Also, helping managers in understanding that avoiding penalizing employees for making innocent and honest mistakes can help them and the organization in promoting creativity. HRM and Challenges There are many challenges that HRM faces when it comes to stimulating creative thinking and innovation. This is a difficult task to achieve, otherwise everyone would be implementing it. Three major challenges are summarized as follows:  Lack of proper leadership style and support as innovation is driven by time and money. Organizations try to avoid such a waste as they operate in a dynamic environment.  Absence of tangible culture and strategy for innovation and creativity.  Employees on every level of the hierarchy do not fully commit and embrace change as humans are resistant to change by nature, as many uncontrollable factors are involved.
  8. 8. Conclusion The creative business world has emerged and it is here to stay. HRM is essential in stimulating creativity and innovation on a first level and then managing it. It is a key factor in securing a competitive advantage and standing out in the rising, competitive world. Proper HRM can help organizations achieve more innovations, create a culture to support innovative thinking, and to hire, train and reward, which is a major undertaking. It can seem daunting to know where to begin. However, the most important first step is to start with the first step. It is a large and exciting change process. Even a small initiative can help demonstrate the possibilities of a more robust effort.
  9. 9. References [1] Maz Jamilah, Masnanet al. 'ROLE OFORGANIZATIONALCULTUREINSTIMULATINGCREATIVITY ANDINNOVATIONAMONGENGINEERINGSTUDENTS'.Universiti Malaysia Perlis (2008). Web: http://dspace.unimap.edu.my/xmlui/handle/123456789/5820, lastly Accessed: 25 May. 2015. [2] Rubin, Jim. 'CREATIVITY RESEARCH JOURNAL: TECHNOLOGY'S IMPACT ON THE CREATIVE POTENTIAL OF YOUTH'. Routledge: Taylor & Francis Online (2012). Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10400419.2012.677370, lastly Accessed: 25 May. 2015. [3] Amabile, Teresa. 'HOWTOKILL CREATIVITY'. Harvard BusinessReview.N.p.,1998. Web: https://hbr.org/1998/09/how-to-kill-creativity/ar/1 , lastly Accessed:25 May. 2015. [4] Hirst, G. et al. 'HOW DOES BUREAUCRACYIMPACTINDIVIDUALCREATIVITY? ACROSS-LEVELINVESTIGATIONOFTEAMCONTEXTUALINFLUENCES ONGOAL ORIENTATION-CREATIVITY RELATIONSHIPS'. Academy of Management Journal 54.3 (2011): 624-641. Web: http://amj.aom.org/content/54/3/624.short, Lastly Accessed 25 May. 2015. [5] Kaufman, Scott Barry. 'HOW OUR SENSES INFLUENCE CREATIVITY'. Psychological Inquiry (2011): Web: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beautiful- minds/201108/how-our-senses-influence-creativity, lastly Accessed: 25 May. 2015. [6] Martins, E.C., Terblanche, F., (2003). ‘BUILDING ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE THAT STIMULATES CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION’. European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol 6 (1), 64-74. [7] Stanleigh, Michael. 'INNOVATION: A STRATEGIC HR IMPERATIVE'. Bia.ca. N.p., (2015). Web. https://www.bia.ca/articles/InnovationAStrategicHRImperative.htm, Last Access: 31 May 2015. [8] Davidson, Tina, Katleen De Stobbeleir. 'THE POWER OF THE FEEDBACK ENVIRONMENT IN STIMULATING CREATIVE PERFORMANCE: THE ROLE OF TASK AUTONOMY AND SELF-CONCORDANCE'. Vlerick Leuven Gent. N.p., (2011). Web. https://public.vlerick.com/Publications/92898f29-a637-e111-b0d8-005056a635ed.pdf, Last Access: 31 May 2015. [9] Muscalu, Emanoil, Muntean Silvana. 'MOTIVATION – A STIMULATING FACTOR FOR INCREASING HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE'. Business Excellence and Management. N.p., (2012). Web. http://beman.ase.ro/no21/6.pdf, last Access: 31 May 2015. [10] Burm, Zehra Alakoç a. 'HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND ITS IMPORTANCE FOR TODAY’S ORGANIZATIONS'. International Journal of Education and Social Science. N.p., 2014. Web. http://www.ijessnet.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/9.pdf, Last Access: 31 May 2015. [11] Karlsson, Jennie. 'The Role of HRM In Innovation Processes: Nurturing Or Constraining Creativity'. University of Gothenburg. N.p., 2013. Web. https://gupea.ub.gu.se/bitstream/2077/33647/1/gupea_2077_33647_1.pdf, Last Access: 31 May 2015.
  10. 10. [12] Ionică, Marin, Marian Popescu, and Radu TOMESCU. 'MANAGEMENT ASPECTS IN THE PERSONNEL REMUNERATION AND STIMULATION ACTIVITIES AT S.C. TASMANIA S.R.L.'. Scientific Bulletin – Economic Sciences, Volume 11/ Special Issue. N.p., 2012. Web. http://economic.upit.ro/repec/pdf/2012_3_4.pdf, Last Access:31 May 2015. [13] Laursen, Keld, and Nicolai J. Foss. 'HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AND INNOVATION'. cbs.dk. N.p., 2012. Web. http://www.druid.dk/laursen/files/Handbook_of_Innovation_Management_LaursenFoss.pdf, Last Access: 31 May 2015. [14] Lache,Cătălina, C.Axinia, Boldureanu, Gabriela. 'IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF THE TRAINING PROCESS ANDSTIMULATING CREATIVITY'. Universitatea de Ştiinţe Agricole şi Medicină Veterinară Iaşi. N.p., 2010. Web. http://www.revagrois.ro/PDF/2010_1_369.pdf, Last Access: 31 May 2015 [15] Almquist, Eric, Mitchell Leiman, Darrell Rigby and Alex Roth. “Taking the measure of your innovation performance.” Insights. Bain & Company. May 8, 2013. Web: http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/ taking-the-measure-of-your-innovation-performance.aspx Lastly Accessed: 1 May 2015 [16] IBM Global Business Services. 'More Than Magic - How the Most Successful Organizations Innovate'. N.p., 2015. Web: http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi- bin/ssialias?htmlfid=GBE03625USEN&appname=skmwww. Lastly Accessed: 1 May 2015. [17] Florida, Richard, and Jim Goodnight. 'Managing For Creativity'. Harvard Business Review. N.p.,2005. Web. https://hbr.org/2005/07/managing-for-creativity. Lastly accessed: 11 May 2015.

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