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Cooking under fire: managing multilevel tensions between creativity and innovation in haute cuisine

Lane, Christel and Lup, Daniela (2015) Cooking under fire: managing multilevel tensions between creativity and innovation in haute cuisine. Industry and Innovation, 22 (8). pp. 654-676. ISSN 1366-2716

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13662716.2015.1113861


This inductive study of Michelin-starred restaurants in Britain and Germany examines how organizations attend to tensions between idea creation and implementation that characterize innovation processes. Based on the analysis of in-depth interviews with 40 chefs-de-cuisine, we identify tensions at two distinct levels of analysis. The first tension, situated at the individual level, occurs between the artistic identity of the chefs-de-cuisine and their work identity; the second one, at the organizational level, arises because creativity and implementation are equally important for the organizational success, thus making it impossible to disentangle chefs’ contribution from that of the kitchen brigade. Case evidence shows that effective tactics for managing these tensions simultaneously emphasize distinctions and create synergies between the contradictory elements of each tension. Moreover, our cross-national sample allows us to show how differences at the national institutional level affect the management of tensions and thus shed light on the mechanisms through which institutional environments affect innovation. These insights contribute to existing research in creativity and innovation.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2016 10:50
Last Modified: 29 May 2024 04:00

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