Creativity and innovation are what differentiates successful business entities from those that are not. Those businesses that fail to come up with creative products to hold their ground amidst other products are gradually swayed out of business. The current status of the global market is unforgiving. Business firms have to be creative as much as possible for them to survive the cut-throat competition that exists. Due to this, creativity and innovation are highly regarded and well compensated in most organizations today (Khanna, Song & Lee, 2011). Creative individuals are highly remunerated and given all the resources they require, for it is creativity that is driving organizations today. Each firm is investing heavily in innovation and creativity. Some organizations are paying for training seminars for their workers to be equipped with the knowledge they require for them to be creative. Others offer huge salaries for workers that are very creative in other organizations, a move that is termed as “poaching” of workers in modern day world (Im, Montoya & Workman, 2013).
The purpose of this study is to come up with specific barriers affecting most firms with regard to creativity and innovation worldwide. These barriers are studied empirically and their impact on organizations measured. Furthermore, it provides recommendations on how to deal with them for successful implementation of innovativeness and creativeness on business organization in modern day markets. The study focuses on the telecommunications industry with specific reference to creativity and innovativeness at Samsung Company. To study this topic well there is need to assess the how the market leaders have performed in regards to the same (Wolff, Jones & Lee, 2006).
Samsung is a global leader when it comes to TVs, chip design, batteries, screen technology, and mobile phones. For the purpose of this study, the mobile phone sector will be considered. Samsung has managed to stay on top of its competition over the years through creativity in their mobile phone brand (Kirk, 2012). It has a large population of loyal customers going by recent studies. Its mobile phone sector is perhaps the most creative with each year, having a new model with new features (Pfanner, 2013). Their Galaxy S5 is perhaps the most widely celebrated and bought of all their phones. This phone has many new features that are unprecedented. Though it faces stiff competition from Apple Inc. through the iPhone 5, they have managed to strengthen their grip on the market through persistent creativity and innovativeness over the years (Daniëls & Rietzschel, 2013).
Samsung has effective strategies to ensure that creativity in the firm is always as high as that of their competitors if not higher. They have maintained a very close relationship with the Russian Academy of Science. Through such academies, it maintains a creative and highly innovative staff. Another fundamental strategy for maintaining creativeness and innovativeness is the application of the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) (Çokpekin & Knudsen, 2012). This strategy has ensured that Samsung maintains the top spot in the industry. This strategy was adopted from year 2000 onwards. It is basically a methodology for systematic solving of problems. The basic concept is that users of this methodology need to search for contradictions in customer needs and the current technological conditions (Namshin, 2000). They then need to imagine the ideal state of affairs that innovation should be directed towards. TRIZ has become the bedrock of innovation for Samsung. Since its inception, 50 new patents for Samsung have been achieved. The figure below illustrates how TRIZ functions (Giannopoulou, Gryszkiewicz & Barlatier, 2014).
Source: Björk, Boccardelli & Magnusson, (2010).
Innovation is defined as a process through which an invention is developed all the way to being a marketable product or service that will change the economy. Changing the economy may occur in many forms as highlighted below. The new invention may be an introduction of a new service or product or a qualitative modification in an existing product or service (Eleny, 2012). It may also be an innovation of a process new to an industry. In addition, it may also be development of new sources of inputs or raw materials for the production of a given product. Furthermore, it may also be the opening of a new market (de Sousa, Pellissier & Monteiro, 2012). All these forms are what make the innovation process. Creativity is the production of useful, business oriented and novel ideas within an organization. For any idea to be accepted as creative it has to be unique and different from any existing ideas. The idea must be valuable, correct, goal-oriented, and expressive of meaning. Creativity is considered to be the starting point for innovation. It is necessary but not enough to drive innovation alone in any organization (Rigo, 2013).
Despite the great significance of innovativeness and creativeness in the world today, there are barriers to the same in organizations. The way organizations deal with these impediments, determines whether they will succeed in being more innovative and creative than others or not. These challenges face each and every organization in the modern day competitive market. There is need for organizations to come up with strategies for them to survive, leave alone topping the industry (Lempiala, 2010). One way of dealing with these challenges has been to invest in research (Baer, 2012).
These challenges to innovation and creativeness manifest in many forms in organizations. Some are subtle others are not. Some barriers arise from perceptions and attitudes of the leaders of the organization. Others emanate from the leadership structure and policies adopted by the organization (Miller, 2001). The sheer fact that these challenges tend to eliminate the possibility of a firm coming up with new products and consequently patents, shows that there is crucial urgency for firms to identify and completely remove these barriers. More and more firms are engaging in research projects to identify the best ways of conquering the creativity barriers. A lot of literature abounds on this particular issue and many findings and conclusion have been drawn (Somech & Drach-Zahavy, 2013).
This research study will seek to answer the following questions;
According to Müller & Ulrich (2013), business creativity requires the idea in question to be applicable and useful to the activities of the business firm. However, there exists confusion as to which places within the organisation that does not need creativity. Most managers believe that the accounting department is one of the areas that creativity is not needed. This notion may be wrong going by the definition of creativity. Creativity being the introduction of new and useful ideas is also applicable in this department. It may be essential, especially in coming up with better ways of conducting those routine activities and simplification of some tasks. Creativity does not exclusively target new products and services, but also the processes that lead to the achievement of the final products (Gemünden, Killen & Kock, 2013).
Most of the organisation strives to minimize risks as much as possible. To do this they use thorough risk avoidance strategies. These strategies have been seen to kill creativity. Some of the risk managers fear exposing their firms to pure risks by giving creativity and innovativeness in some areas of the organisation. This fear of incurring risks cripples the potential of a firm to come up with new ideas. At Samsung, what sets them aside from other firms in the industry is their take up of risks. They give chance for creativity in all their departments including the accounting department. Their accounting department is run by the latest technology in the market. Additionally, they make new products and take a great risk in marketing these products without any surety of success of such products (Vaidyanathan, 2012).
Creativity and innovation leaves much to chance. The new market in this new business world is quite unforgiving and very intolerant of low quality products. A firm takes a great risk in introducing new methods in their traditional way of doing things. This change may result in the entire organisational structure failing or failure of the entire production process (de Jong, 2011). However, it is through risks that successful companies in the world have made major leaps into success. Their risk management departments are not inclined towards avoiding risks, but assessing the impact of these risks. They do not avoid taking risks, but engage in risky activities and have the measures ready to guard against occurrence of losses (Cropley, Kaufman & Crople, 2011).
Inadequate funding suppresses creativity and innovation. Those firms that allot enough funds to creativity and innovation, through the research departments, have great success stories. Samsung’s research department is highly funded to come up with new products and ideas. The high funding does not imply that the researchers and paid handsomely, rather it means that the workers in this department have all that they may require at their disposal. This is very essential as it gives them the impression that they can think creatively without limit. With this in mind, they work under the notion that they are not limited by financial constraints, hence they are able to think outside the box. Conversely, those firms that limit funding on the research department usually have challenges in maintaining their competitive edge. This is because they lack new ideas and products due to ineffectiveness of the research departments. The research department has a limit placed on their ideas and scope of research. This limit is in form of financial constraints (Cropley, Kaufman & Crople, 2011).
The executives in any business entity are usually faced by many decisions to make and many activities to oversee. Some are actually faced by such a large workload that the find very little time to engage in “free thinking”. Free thinking in this context refers to thinking differently from the routine way of thinking associated with the executive position. It is through such “different thinking” that executives exercise their creativity power. However, the executives worldwide face such intense pressure from all corners that they find it very hard to deviate from the thinking and management of situations expected by their superiors. This kills the creativity in the executives. When this happens, it means that creativity from other workers will not be welcome as well (Bledow, Rosing & Frese, 2013).
This study used a descriptive research design. The study targeted workers at Samsung Inc. in the U.S. The study used primary data collected using questionnaires; the questionnaires included both open and close ended questions. Data collected was quantitative in nature and was analyzed appropriately using descriptive statistics. The descriptive statistical tools helped the researcher to describe the data. This included frequencies, percentages, mean and standard deviations.
This section presents the research results and findings based on the data collected and analyzed. The purpose of this study was to assess barriers to creativity and innovation to business organizations. The new market in this new business world is quite unforgiving and very intolerant of low quality products. A firm takes a great risk in introducing new methods in their traditional way of doing things. This change may result in the entire organisational structure failing or failure of the entire production process. The study sought to answer the following questions: What are the effects of inadequate funding on innovativeness and creativeness at Samsung Company? What are the effects of risk avoidance on innovativeness and creativeness at Samsung Company? What are the effects of conservative leadership on innovativeness and creativeness at Samsung Company? What are the effects of executive stress on innovativeness and creativeness at Samsung Company? .The research findings were presented in form of tables, graphs and charts. Tabulation helped to summarize the data whereas graphs and charts were used to present the study results.
From the findings, 67.6% of the respondents indicated that inadequate funding affected creativity and innovation in mobile telephony manufacturing to a great extent, 13.5% indicated that inadequate funding affected creativity and innovation in mobile telephony manufacturing to a low extent. 10.8% indicated that inadequate funding affected creativity and innovation in mobile telephony manufacturing to a moderate extent. Lastly, 8.1% of the respondents indicated that inadequate funding affected creativity and innovation in mobile telephony manufacturing to no extent at all. It can be deduced that most of the respondents indicated that inadequate funding affected creativity and innovation in mobile telephony manufacturing to a great extent.
Impact of adequate funding at Samsung
|Increased innovation culture||4.3889||.72812|
Table 1: Impact of adequate funding at Samsung
From the findings, the respondents also agreed with a mean of 4.3889 that having increased innovation culture over the years at Samsung was due to the heavy investments attached to research and development department. The respondents also agreed with a mean of 4.0278 that the notion of limitless ideas is made possible by the adequate funding as the researchers are allowed to think of anything without worry of financial constraints to achieve them. Furthermore, the respondents agreed with a mean of 3.6111 that more patents have been achieved through adequate funding at Samsung.
According to the findings, 59.5% of the respondents indicated that risk avoidance affected agency creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing to a great extent, 18.9% indicated that creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing affected to a low extent while the same percentage indicated that risk avoidance availability affected creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing to no extent at all. Lastly, 2.7% of the respondents indicated that risk avoidance availability affected creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing to a moderate extent. It can be deduced that risk avoidance availability affects creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing to a great extent
|Risk avoidance limits creativity by not giving new ideas a chance||3.8108||.51843|
|Risk avoidance in costly in the long run||3.9189||.43323|
|Risk avoidance should be replaced by risk mitigation, entirely||3.9189||1.01046|
From the findings, the respondents agreed with a mean of 3.9189 that risk avoidance is costly in the long run. Moreover, the respondents also agreed with a mean of 3.9189 that risk avoidance should be replaced by risk mitigation, entirely. In addition, the respondents agreed with a mean of 3.8108 that risk avoidance limits creativity by not giving new ideas a chance.
From the findings, 78.4% of the respondents indicated that conservative leadership affects creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing to a great extent, 13.5% of the respondents indicated that conservative leadership affects creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing to a moderate extent while 8.1% of the respondents indicated that conservative leadership affects creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing to a very great extent.
Facets of conservative leadership that affect creativity and innovation
|Intolerance to change||4.0270||.16440|
|Weak research and development departments||4.7297||.56019|
Table 3: Facets of conservative leadership
According to the findings, the respondents indicated with a mean of 4.7297 that weak research and development departments exist in organization with conservative leadership styles and it affects creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing to a very great extent. The respondents further indicated with a mean of 4.0270 that intolerance to change affects creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing to a great extent. In addition, the respondents indicated with a mean of 3.9730 that conventional policies affect creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing to a moderate extent.
From the findings,73% of the respondents indicated that the extent to which executive stress affects creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing is great. Further, 21.6% indicated that the extent to which executive stress affects creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing is to a moderate. In addition, 2.7% of the respondents indicated that the extent to which executive stress affects creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing is to a low, while the same percentage indicated that executive stress did not affect creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing. It can therefore be deduced that most of the respondents indicated that the extent to which executive stress affects creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing is great.
This section presents a summary of the findings, discussion, conclusions and recommendations for practice and further research on the problem. This study aimed at assessing the barriers to creativity and innovation in mobile telephony manufacturing. The study further sought to examine how inadequate funding, risk avoidance, executive stress and conservative leadership influence mobile telephony manufacturing.
On inadequate funding, this study concludes that most of the respondents indicated that inadequate funding affected creativity and innovation in mobile telephony manufacturing to a great extent. In addition, adequate funding can lead to increased innovation culture as is the case at Samsung. There is establishment of the notion of limitless ideas due to adequate funding as the researchers are allowed to think of anything without worry of financial constraints. Additionally, more patents are achieved through adequate funding. On risk avoidance, the study concludes that risk avoidance availability affects creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing to a great extent. In addition, the study concludes that conservative leadership affects creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing to a great extent. With regard to executive stress, the study established that most of the respondents indicated that the extent to which executive stress affects creativity and innovation on mobile telephony manufacturing is great.
This study recommends that conservative leadership should be abolished in all organizations in the mobile telephony manufacturing that are interested in competition, through high creativity and innovation. Most of the principles in conservative leadership undermine creativity and innovation.
More funds should be allocated to the research and development departments. These departments will be of great help in securing the future of firms. Their benefits may not be enjoyed in the short run, but their long run benefits are worth every single penny.
Risks should not be avoided especially when new ideas are involved. They should instead come up with measures to mitigate the losses, in cases where losses are incurred. Avoiding risks altogether does not give room for innovation and creativity.
Executives should be given enough room for them to make decisions that they deem fit for the organization. The boards and stockholders should trust in the ability of the executives. This will give them a chance to be exercising their creativity and in turn encourage creativity in others.
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