To answer the question of whether there is a conflict between benchmarking and creativity or not, it is appropriate to identify both terms in brief. Benchmarking is a process of continuous comparison and evaluation of an organization with other companies resulting in performance improvement. It is the systematic process of looking for the best strategies, creative ideas, and effective approaches to enhance the operation of the organization.
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In turn, creativity is a quality of being able to come up with innovative ideas as well as the ability to implement them in the performance of the company. Creativity is not an inherent feature as every person can learn how to become creative. Through observing the same issue from different perspectives, it is possible to find out the most innovative decision.
From the above observations, it becomes clear that benchmarking and creativity go inline aiming at the provision of superior performance. Although benchmarking applied in the combination with innovation presents rather attractive benefits, it can also cause conflicts in some cases. For example, the organization with vague goals might suffer from creativity resulting in various goal conflicts. Miscarrying to establish the corporate mission and vision, the organization inevitably fails to achieve effective performance. At that, creativity complicates the situation due to the excess of appropriate yet untimely ideas.
Therefore, before initiating the benchmarking process, it is crucial to establish common purposes both for the whole organization and its units. In particular, it might be an especially difficult task for governmental organizations as they have to operate with a range of factors including economical, political, social, and others.
Creativity requires a generation of multiple options as well as thinking and in-depth analysis of collected data. In case the organization represses the clear establishment of organizational objectives preferring to mimic those of others, creativity resists to benchmarking. It can occur as a result of the fact that measurement and accurate evaluation of the comparison with others require certain efforts, time, and costs. Indeed, the repressed organization cannot consider any innovative solutions as they always need some extent of change and adaptation to a new environment.
Furthermore, benchmarking suggests the search for the best practices to meet stakeholders’ and customers’ expectations. A high level of awareness is another peculiarity that is essential to provide innovative ideas in the context of creativity. Nevertheless, the repressed environment is a weak basis for the creation of such decisions.
It is also significant to point out that the organization should choose the correct type of the benchmarking process that would be relevant to its current needs. In some cases, it is appropriate to utilize a combination of types to avoid potential conflicts that might occur due to some disparities. For instance, it is of great importune to prevent conflicts between internal and functional benchmarking by stating apparent goals. Finally, at the stage of implementation, potential conflicts, and barriers associated with creativity should be assessed as well.
Thus, despite the close connection between benchmarking and creativity, some situations promote their conflict. In particular, a repressed environment, vague goals, and improper selection of benchmarking type are to cause conflicts as the process of creation of innovative ideas can be performed only in the context of the organization that is open to change and has a strong corporate mission.