In today’s competitive market, each company endeavors to gain advantages over its contenders. Managing human resources and work environment is paramount to enhancing efficiency and performance. To embark on the issue of fostering creativity and innovation in the workplace, one should consider the key determinants of a supportive organizational culture. The case of Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company is complicated by the size of the company and leverage which implies a great deal of responsibility. The present paper discusses the implementation of creative idea generation sessions, contest organization, and continuous evaluation as essential tools for development and sustainability.
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Both the managing board and staff of an organization should foster an organizational culture that has the potential to fuel further development. The strategy aimed at building the said structure is to be sustainable from a long-term perspective. There is a variety of ways in which an organization may foster a more creative and innovative environment, and one may contend that each case should be examined individually. This report will discuss different approaches and provide customized recommendations for Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic). The chosen strategy’s potential weaknesses and limitations will also be outlined.
Typically, by corporate culture, researchers and practitioners mean a set of values and encourage behaviors that are appropriate for the unique environment of any given organization. A study by Tahseen Arshi (2013) investigated the necessary characteristics of an organizational culture that would serve as an impetus for radical and incremental innovation. According to the author, depending on the desired nature of changes, the management board of an organization may proceed with a complete departure from the existing culture or enhance it within the established set of values.
It is crucial to examine the role of leadership in promoting innovation and creativity. What needs to be understood is that leadership positions are not limited to that on the managing board, for leaders may also be informal, and every employee has the potential to develop necessary qualities to lead the change, as the study by Loewenberger, Newton, and Wick (2013) revealed.
Loewenberger (2013) stated that three facts should be accepted and acknowledged by practitioners in human resources development (HRD). First, it is essential to understand that managers and employees should have a shared vision of innovative work practices. At this stage, those employed in HRD should take measures to raise awareness of the need for creative ideas and solutions in an organization. Support, understanding, and awareness about the possible untapped potential of the staff are required to encourage change.
Recommendations for Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company
Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) is one of the largest and fastest-growing companies in the Middle East. The company boasts a presence in sixty countries and expresses the total commitment to future growth and service enhancement. One should note that back in a day, shortly after the foundation, the company rejected traditional refinery to become a dynamic and versatile producer. This fact alone indicates that Orpic is open to new solutions that would foster creativity and innovation. Moreover, in his message, Orpic’s CEO Ahmed Saleh Al Jahdhami (n.d.) said that the company’s most precious asset is people, which may only lead to the conclusion that human development is of high priority.
Despite Orpic’s modern methods of production and doing business, there are certain constraints to creating or reinventing the organizational culture. First, the fact that it is a large company should not be dismissed: the majority of work processes are well-established. Second, due to the company’s leverage and global presence, each mistake may come at a high price, which calls for careful premeditation on a workable strategy. Thus, it is safe to assume that only incremental changes are appropriate for Orpic.
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Recommendations for development and sustainability in Orpic may include some measures and events. As it was mentioned in the literature review section, creative idea generation sessions may take place. One may readily see several benefits of such practice for the organization. First, the meetings may be conducted at all organizational levels. Second, such events do not disrupt the work processes, for they do not have and should not take long. Lastly, during the sessions, it might become possible to see who has the potential for creativity and might be interested in accepting more challenging tasks requiring more autonomy.
Another viable idea for Orpic is holding startup-contests to escape formalized ways of innovation. Some may argue that small and medium businesses have more freedom to seek and try new solutions. However, there is strong evidence that large firms are actual trailblazers and set the bar when it comes to creativity (Schaeffer 2015). The startup culture is linked closely to the rapid development and many advances in technologies made throughout the last few decades. Even though the study by Schaeffer (2015) only dealt with companies in the fields of electronics and communication, petroleum engineering is also benefiting from state-of-art technologies implementation. Orpic could organize big startup-contests based on climate models each year, changing themes and choosing the most relevant.
However, not only startup-contests have the potential of fostering a competitive work environment in which pressure to succeed may bring out the best in employees. For instance, a contest for the best growth idea may take place within the organization. The managing board of Orpic may build teams or encourage employees to do it on their own. Later, they could elaborate ideas as to how the work process at Orpic could be enhanced. There is a strong association between competition, creativity, and leadership, for the desire to be ahead of one’s contenders motivates individuals to be proactive and develop solutions of their own.
Another way to foster creativity and give employees more space for betterment and exploration is to allow those who are willing to spend some time in other departments (Dawson & Andriopoulous 2013). There, they could be helping permanent employees with daily assignments under their guidance. Group support and opportunities to change the milieu temporarily without the fear of failure may be a major impetus to innovation. At the same time, those employees who would be guiding the “newbies” would get a chance to develop their leadership abilities.
The concept of group support should be expanded to interdisciplinary cooperation within the context of an organization to prompt rapid development. It is critical to building an approach that will allow participants to engage in meaningful activities and perform better. For instance, interdisciplinary collaboration within a group will lead to a rise in the quality of the staff’s accomplishment of project goals. Thus, project management will be enhanced through the improvement of information exchange within a group of employees. The principles of information sharing will encourage group support and create a system of cooperation within a team, making staff members deliver their best performance.
Furthermore, the very concept of innovation as the platform for corporate development should become the basis for the enhancement of group support. By engaging in innovative thinking and problem-solving, one will shift the focus toward group cooperation and team-based information management. Thus, the process of promoting change will be perceived as an integral part of a company’s progress by all team members, with the levels of resistance to change being reduced significantly. Group collaboration is intrinsic to corporate growth, which is why it has to be seen as a critical stage of Orpic’s development.
Lastly, Orpic may take measures to facilitate two-way communication across all organizational levels. One of the ways to gain feedback is to conduct surveys regularly, in which employees could share their ideas, negative experiences, and requests (Proctor 2013). Further, one may evaluate which type of motivation – intrinsic or extrinsic – has more impact on employees’ performance and creativity. The findings of such surveys may reveal the ways HRD practitioners could influence staff and what rewards could be most efficient. For instance, a study by Gerhart and Fang (2015) showed that employees tend to enhance their productivity and lean more towards being creative when they can perceive both types of motivation.
For the diversity and ambitiousness of the proposed ideas, one should not dismiss the strategy’s possible weaknesses and limitations. As for the first idea, organizing creative idea sessions might be met with some pushback. It is debated whether a company should make attendance obligatory, for if the staff is obliged to show up, the necessity to be there may tame their motivation.
Startup-contests may seem attractive at a glance; however, a question arises as to how to fund the most successful projects and if other aspects or departments might end up being deprived of resources. Lastly, when conducting a cross-sectional survey, researchers and HRD practitioners should take into account the human factor. If ethics are considered and participation is voluntary, people with ideas and desire to speak up are more likely to partake. Some employees might abstain from talking about negative experiences for the fear of repercussions in case a confidentiality breach occurs.
Ideally, as creativity and innovation are recognized and appraised, employees possessing such traits are to become more motivated and efficient in their performance. This progression towards greater engagement may provide an essential competitive advantage for an organization that decided to implement the strategy. In the case of Orpic, one should take into account the size of the company and certain rigidity of its structure.
However, these constraints may become advantageous, for instance, if the company decides to hold a startup contest. Fostering a creative work environment is possible through brainstorming sessions. Another way to draw data and gather new ideas is through regular evaluations and questionnaires. When taking new measures, HRD practitioners may be confronted with particular resilience to participate in the proposed activities. This is the reason why the implementation of ideas should be preceded by raising awareness and discussing a shared vision for the future of Orpic.
Al Jahdhami, AS n.d., CEO message. Web.
Dawson, P & Andriopoulous, C 2014, Managing change, creativity, and organisation, SAGE, New York City.
Gerhart, B & Fang, M 2015, ‘Pay, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, performance, and creativity in the workplace: revisiting long-held beliefs’, Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, vol. 2, pp. 1-64.
Loewenberger, PA 2013, ‘The role of HRD in stimulating, supporting, and sustaining creativity and innovation’, Human Resource Development Review, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 422-455.
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Loewenberger, PA, Newton, M & Wick, K 2013, ‘Developing creative leadership in a public sector organisation’, International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 190-200.
Proctor, T, 2013, Creative problem-solving for managers (4e), Routledge, London.
Schaeffer, V 2015, ‘Corporate entrepreneurship and creativity in large firms: the practice of start-up contests’, Journal of Innovation Economics & Management, vol. 3, no. 18, pp. 25-51.
Tahseen Arshi, A 2013, ‘Can organizational culture influence Innovation? An empirical study on organizational culture characteristics and innovative intensity’, Scottish Journal of Arts, Social Sciences and Scientific Studies, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 3-18.