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Creativity within boundaries: Social identity and the development of new ideas in franchise systems

Abstract : The aim of this paper is to analyse one paradox of creativity that involves balancing novelty and conformity. Using a social identity perspective, we differentiate between organizational and expertise identities to understand how different types of identities impact the creative process in terms of novelty generation as well as conformity in the context of franchising. Franchise systems are a specific organizational context in which tensions between different identities may arise and ideas are selected by multiple audiences. Furthermore, because franchising is based on standardization, franchisors need to find a balance between maintaining the uniformity of the system through conformity and enhancing new idea deployment in the network for the purpose of adaptation. We conduct a comparative case study analysis of 17 franchise systems based on 20 narrations. The findings from our qualitative empirical study show that identification plays a major role in the creative process. Social control, which may be exerted by manipulating the group identity, is an efficient lever to increase both the diffusion of an idea and its variation from existing standards, which leads to important managerial implications. Networks of individuals can promote both idea generation and a uniform diffusion of those ideas by enhancing organizational identity with a strong entrepreneurship orientation or expertise identity based on occupation‐specific knowledge acquired through experience.
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Submitted on : Saturday, November 24, 2018 - 12:53:19 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:34:50 PM



Fanny Simon, Catherine Allix-Desfautaux, Nabil Khelil, Anne-Laure Le Nadant. Creativity within boundaries: Social identity and the development of new ideas in franchise systems. Creativity and Innovation Management, Wiley, 2018, 27 (4), pp.444 - 457. ⟨10.1111/caim.12296⟩. ⟨hal-01933808⟩



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