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Innovation: Achieving Balance among Empowerment, Accountability and Control

Innovation through Collaboration

ISBN: 978-0-76231-331-0, eISBN: 978-1-84950-430-0

Publication date: 16 October 2006


Organizations are reorganizing into collaborative subunits or teams in order to generate innovative ideas and stay ahead of the competition. Traditional control systems were established to direct employees and prevent control problems, such as fraud or theft, and were designed for vertically managed systems where managers and supervisors made decisions and their subordinates performed tasks. As companies evolve into a team-based structure, decisions are made at lower levels. Restructuring for teams makes information more available and decisions more transparent. Traditional controls no longer apply and can be detrimental to empowerment and the generation of innovative ideas. With increased empowerment there will be a need for different controls and maybe even more control. Innovation can thrive when collaboration takes place and collaboration can occur best when teams are empowered. This chapter presents three separate domains – models of empowerment and innovation, decision-influencing and decision-facilitating information, and management control systems – and illustrates how they interact in a holistic way to either enhance innovative culture or inhibit the generation of ideas.


Kennedy, F.A. and Schleifer, L. (2006), "Innovation: Achieving Balance among Empowerment, Accountability and Control", Beyerlein, M.M., Beyerlein, S.T. and Kennedy, F.A. (Ed.) Innovation through Collaboration (Advances in Interdisciplinary Studies of Work Teams, Vol. 12), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 113-135.



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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited