Complexity Arrangements for Sustained Innovation: Lessons From 3M Corporation

Raghu B. Garud, Joel Gehman, Arun Kumaraswamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Scopus citations


Innovation processes are complex. It is through local interactions among people and technologies that diverse and novel outcomes emerge. Even when governed by simple rules, such interactions can generate nonlinear temporal dynamics. Given such complexities, how might an organization sustain innovation for continued growth and vitality? Drawing on an in-depth study of innovation practices and journeys at 3M Corporation, we identify how combinations of practices - which we conceptualize as complexity arrangements - afford multiple agentic orientations simultaneously for the actors involved and thereby facilitate sustained innovation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-767
Number of pages31
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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