Innovation Tensions: Chaos, Structure, and Managed Chaos

Rajiv Nag, Kevin G. Corley, Dennis A. Gioia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


This chapter presents a framework for understanding the tensions that underlie an organization's ability to manage innovation effectively in the face of a turbulent competitive environment: (1) the fundamental tension between the desire for structure and need for creative chaos, and (2) the on-going tension between technology-push and market-pull approaches to innovation. We explore the nature and boundaries of these tensions and characterize them as four distinct 'innovation contexts'. Using one high-technology organization's struggle as an example, we discuss the notion of 'managed chaos', a concept that helps understand the role of innovation in the maintenance and change of an organization's identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe International Handbook on Innovation
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780080524849
ISBN (Print)9780080441986
StatePublished - Oct 16 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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