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HRM Role in

Stimulating
Creativity &
Innovation within
Organizations?

Grenoble, France
Abstract: This log book outlines the best practices in

Patrick Favre
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.
HABIB ABOU SALEH
Grenoble, France
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
Introduction
continuously evolving situation by
We live in today’s world, where the old fashioned
embracing creative thinking (Burma 2014,
way of conducting business no longer exists.
Masnan and al. 2008, IBM Global Business
Technological advancements and globalizatio n
2015). Creative and innovative people have
have shaped our lives and the way business is
the potential and capacities to approach
conducted. New business models have replaced
problems and solutions from differe nt
the old ones in order to secure survival in today’s
perspectives, putting ideas together in new
business market, and its fierce competitio n.
combinations, and thus creating and adding
Succeeding is no longer an easy task to achieve.
more value to their work. Knowing that
It requires leading through dynamically complex
HRM is the main source of human capital
and volatile environment, where individuals and
within organizations regardless of their type
members are driven by operational excelle nce
(ex: Public, Private or even NGO),
and collaboration across different functions and
geographical location (ex: Local, or
departments within an organization, while
International), or size (ex: small, medium or
developing higher quality leadership, talents and
big), HRM can play a crucial role in creating
creativity, to unleash new innovative potentials
the adequate fertile environment for
and possibilities (Burma 2014).
creativity to constantly grow, prosper and be
If we really take a moment to look around us, stimulated toward innovative outcomes.
observe and think, we can arrive at the conclusio n
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
It is noted that HRM practices have a major role in provided, is a must. In addition, understanding that
understanding the business environment from every the authentic outcomes of creativity are innovatio n,
aspect and adapting it within suitable, fertile organizations tend to stimulate creativity to boost
framework. This is a key element in stimulating innovation among their employees. HRM can act on
creative and innovative behaviors, especially three main levels when it comes assuring qualified
within organizations. These practices, which can be employees, including training and motivating them,
applied to every environment, organization’s type while ensuring proper working conditions suitable
or identity, should revolve around our environme nt for fostering creativity and innovation (Muscalu et
What Triggers Our where our senses are in continuous dynamic al. 2012, Lache 2010, Burma 2014, Karlsson 2013,
Creativity? interaction in order to soar to new creative heights. Marin 2012 ). These Factors can be classified into

According to Scott Barry Kaufman (2011), three main paths:


Stimulating Creativity within
there are situational factors beyond our 
Organizations Organizational culture
personalities which play an essential role in  Organization’s working environment
the type of processing styles we adopt on a According to Masnan and al. (2008), IBM Global  Managerial Level
moment to moment basis. It is continuous ly Business (2015), Burma 2014, businesses and
shifting without our own awareness, due to organizations around the world agree that the most
our continuous interaction through our valuable asset is their human capital. It contributes .
senses, with the way we observe, touch, taste, to their everyday development and business
listen or even smell. They all affect our competitiveness. As a result, embracing the path of
analytical thoughts, and most importantly our innovation within their industries and businesses,
creativity, which leads to innovation. Thus mainly when it comes to creating and adding values
understanding our environment is a key to the products and services
element to boost our creativity.
ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE HRM and Corporate Structure: Selective hiring
processes are a key element in choosing
According to Martin and al. (2003), Marin diversified, well-structured teams, which have a
(2012), Stanleigh (2015) organizational culture, great influence on the level of creativity and
especially in an international environment, plays innovation that takes place within the working
a vital role in the success of any organization. It environment inside any organizatio n.
provides the necessary framework to absorb Diversified, complementary talents between
creativity, which leads to innovation in the individuals pushes creativity/innovation to
organizational culture and manage me nt different heights. Also HRM should stress the
processes. HRM has the ability to create, protect, importance of individuals’ relationships. They
and build an organizational culture as it is the should be based on respect and trust, with high
cornerstone for creativity and innovation, as all level of openness to others’ points of views, ideas
the hiring processes, and training programs, and and perspectives, no matter how different they
cultural imperatives placed on the business are can be, not to forget effective channels of
done through proper HRM practices (Stanleigh, communications (Karlsson 2013, Marin 2012).
2015). HRM can have an impact over the
organizational culture by addressing the HRM in Encouraging Creative Behavior &
following four touching points: Means of Support: It is essential to create suitable
incentives for creativity. Rewards and
HRM and Corporate Strategy: HRM can
recognition are a must but at the same time
improve and assert a proper understanding of the
rewarding systems need to be matched with each
company-shared vision and strategy which is
individuals’ personality to attain the best
future focused to motivate employees to be
outcomes (Martin and al. 2003, Karlsson 2013,
creative and innovative (Burma 2014, Karlsson
Marin 2012 ).
2013, Marin 2012 ).

It also highlight the importance of being


and limit creativity and innovation to a great
HRM AND ORGANIZATIONS’ WORKING
extent. So in order to keep employees engaged,
ENVIRONMENT
and clear petty obstacles from their way so they
According to Richard Branson, the author and
shine, HRM can emphasize the negative effect
founder of Virgin Group, a “healthy company
bureaucracy has on creativity and innovatio n
culture starts with treating your employees the
within organizations, by addressing such an
way you want to be treated”. From this
issue with top senior management and
perspective, and according to Richard Florida
presenting them with new processes and tools,
and Jim Goodnight (2005), it is important to
HRM and Effective Communication: HRM since such change should start all the way from
value the work over tools by helping employees
can highlight, build and supervise the top-down.
show their best through efficient HRM practices
implementation of open, transparent
to stimulate their minds, reward their excelle nce HR Role in Stimulating Minds: Superior
communication policies based on trust and
with challenges rather than materialistic performance is the consequence of energized
respect, which have a great influenc e,
incentives, and minimize hassles at work. mental abilities. Proper effective HRM training
motivating and stimulating creativity and
programs, processes and practices can lead to
innovation. Open door policies without any HRM and Bureaucracy: Creative and innovative
major understanding of methodology of
hierarchical barriers open the flow of ideas people at work are mainly driven by two key
continuous learning and challenges involved to
and creative thinking, thus leading to elements: passion and challenges. Regardless of
motivate employees and stimulate their minds
innovative outcomes. their daily functional tasks or the department they
by putting them in challenging working
These elements once merged together in a belong to, they crave the feeling of
environments, faced with new dilemmas and
fruitful frame, built through effective HRM accomplishment once the task is completed. They
interesting tasks. Training programs can
within the organization, help in creating a starve for another challenge due to their inner
provide them with the necessary tools, while
genuine organizational culture that triggers energy, which is wrapped with passion for the job
putting them in the right direction for
creativity, leading to innovation within they do or the function they occupy. Most
innovation (Lache 2010, Burma 2014, Marin
organizations and societies. researchers, and among them Hirst, G. et al
2012, and Karlsson 2013).
(2011), agree that bureaucratic practices constrain
feedback process (ex: feedback 360o )
Burma 2014, Karlsson 2013). In addition, foreseeing
through the implementation of effective
and recruiting what is needed ahead of time can
performance evaluation systems that
facilitate the working process and eliminate some
measure individual behaviora l
obstacles, which waste time, money and effort.
performance.
Also, helping managers in understanding that
MANAGERS’ ROLES IN TRIGGERING avoiding penalizing employees for making innocent
CREATIVITY: According to Amabile and honest mistakes can help them and the
(1998), managers play a vital role in organization in promoting creativity.
HRM is important at this point as it ensuring company culture and boosting
understands each employees’ mind set, creativity as they are the link between top HRM and Challenges
capabilities and potentials which is also management and employees. Company
There are many challenges that HRM faces when it
essential in addressing the type and level of vision, strategies, policies and procedures
comes to stimulating creative thinking and
training programs and processes required are communicated through them in order to
innovation. This is a difficult task to achieve,
to help employees realize their goals. promote the organization culture. They
otherwise everyone would be implementing it.
have the power to bring people together,
In Place Performance Evaluation Systems: Three major challenges are summarized as follows:
and facilitate the exchange of ideas. HRM
According to Davidson 2011, HRM can  Lack of proper leadership style and support
can play an important role in matching
play a strategic role by helping their as innovation is driven by time and money.
suitable people for managerial positions to
organization stimulate and build up Organizations try to avoid such a waste as
the right roles. Arranging feedback and
creative and innovative thinking. This is they operate in a dynamic environment.
questions & answer sessions might also
why HR leaders should realize the  Absence of tangible culture and strategy for
have a great influence. Furthermore,
importance of creativity and innovation in innovation and creativity.
continuous managerial training programs
building up a comparative advantage for  Employees on every level of the hierarchy
such as Leadership Development Programs
the organization they work for. One way is do not fully commit and embrace change as
for managers can help them stay in track ,
through putting in place an effective humans are resistant to change by nature, as
spur and capture creativity (Lache 2010,
many uncontrollable factors are involved.
Conclusion
The creative business world has emerged and it
is here to stay. HRM is essential in stimula ting
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 innovatio ns,
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.
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