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CEF.UP - MaR Seminar/Webinar

Tuesday - May 31st, 2022 at 6:30 p.m.| Room 305 | Online

"Creativity, Control, and Communication in New Product Development"

Hanno Roberts - Norwegian BS, Norway (joint work with Emilia Skowrońska and João Oliveira)


“This paper focuses on New Product Development processes as these are both ‘creativity intensive’ as well as ‘control requisite’ areas within an organization. We explore how communication as a control practice orients and affects creativity in New Product Development processes, within a creativity-centered service & product design company based in Portugal. The paper untangles the communication processes and tools used, including their effects upon their creative (design) processes.

We identify a number of communication tools deployed in different stages of the product development process. Firstly, highly visual communication tools (e.g., maps and boards), had a positive effect not only upon creativity itself, but also upon the project self-organization of the designers. Secondly, meetings performed a crucial role in terms of communication interlinkage, with an immediately visible influence on employee creativity. Thirdly, the company, implicitly and unconsciously, started building its own version of an Interactive Control System (ICS) (Simons, 1994), supporting multiple organizational learning activities and leading up to the development of traits of a learning organization.

The paper contributes to the literature on Management Control in creative industries, by examining how communication underpins and is intertwined with management control, and supporting the view that the creativity-control tension described in the literature is, in fact, a false dichotomy. The paper reveals how multiple communication tools enable creativity and control to successfully co-exist. Together, creativity and control address the articulation of this company’s key resource (its creative employees) and, subsequently, transpose that articulation into an efficient deployment."

Area: Acc & MC


This is a hybrid Seminar, which may be attended either in person or online. The Seminar will take place in room 305. To attend, please submit the survey no later than Monday 30th at 4:00 p.m. People wishing to attend online will receive the webinar link on the eve of the Seminar.

Imagem FCT

“Cef.up is financed by Portuguese public funds through FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, I.P., in the framework of the project with reference UIDB/04105/2020”

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