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Innovation and creativity in organisations

Innovation and creativity in organisations

 Innovation and creativity in organisations


Smart thermostats represent an evolution of this product that started in 1830 when Scottish chemist Andrew Ure filed a patent for the bi-metallic manually set thermostat that solved the need for consistent temperatures in Europe’s textile mills[1]. The next significant advancement came in 1885 when Albert Butz patented the automated pulley system thermostat that was called the “damper-flapper”, which automatically regulated furnace heat[2]. This thermostat led the way for the formation of the Butz Thermoelectric Regulator Company, and then the Electric Heat Regulator Co., of Minneapolis, MN that became Honeywell International[3].

The next revolution came in 1968 when Honeywell of the United States introduced the programmable W884[4]. Innovations caused Centrica to foresee as well as respond to customer demands for devices that simplified the programming of thermostats[5]. This led to an agreement with Honeywell in 2009[6]. This was an organisational approach as the company recognised its limitations by forming an association with the more technically established Honeywell. The environmental aspect represented reducing energy consumption.

Modern technologies such as semiconductor chips and wireless features resulted in the smart thermostat[7] which is the focus of this study. Organisation processes will be explored in the next section (the innovation) that reveals how the company developed the product as a team effort. HIVE smart thermostat serves as the basis for this investigation regarding ‘Innovation and

[1] David Gray. Centralized and automatic controls in ships, London: Pergamon Press, 2014.

[2] Prothermostats. 100 Years of Programmable Thermostats. 2017. http://www.prothermostats.com/history.php. (Accessed 2017-11-11).

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Honeywell. British Gas and Honeywell working together. 2009. https://www.carbonbrief.org/gas-from-norway-coal-from-russia-eight-graphs-on-the-uk-energy-systemhttp://www.honeywelluk.com/news/British-Gas-and-Honeywell-working-together/. (Accessed 2017-11-11).

[7] Prothermostats. 100 Years of Programmable Thermostats. 2017. http://www.prothermostats.com/history.php. (Accessed 2017-11-11).

creativity in organisations’. The Hive was introduced in 2013 by Centrica[1]. This represented an implementation process that changed the dynamics of the. British Gas held the gas trading, sales and services as well as operations concerning gas production in the Morecambe gas fields (North and South) that were transferred to Centrica in 1997[2]. This has been brought forth to clarify references in this study that refer to British Gas and Centrica since these company names are interchangeable.


This exploration will delve into varied aspects that include environmental and organisational conditions, along with organisational and implementation processes to explore the development and outcomes of this innovation. This will include sustainability concepts and theories where sustainability consists of economics, ecology, culture, and politics[3]. Stubbs and Cocklin[4] explain that sustainability represents a challenging social area that considers ethical consumerism, international and national sustainability trends, along with individual lifestyles. These represent three sustainability dimensions of environment, society, and economy where environmental limits constrain the other two areas[5]. The Venn diagram provides an illustration of the above:

[1] Centrica. British Gas product launch makes the connected home a reality. 2017. https://www.centrica.com/news/british-gas-product-launch-makes-connected-home-reality. (Accessed 2017-11-11).

[2] Steve Thomas. A perspective on the rise and fall of the energy regulator in Britain. Utilities Policy 39, no.4, 2016, pp. 421-49

[3] Marina Linnenluecke and Andrew Griffiths. Corporate sustainability and organizational culture. Journal of World Business 45, no.4, 2010, pp. 357-366.

[4] Wendy Stubbs and Chris Cocklin. Conceptualizing a “sustainability business model”. Organization & Environment 21, no. 2, 2008, pp. 103 – 127.

[5] Ibid

The above diagram aids in understanding the interconnected links between ‘’ environmental, societal, and economic aspects” that illustrate an economy and society should be “… in equilibrium with basic ecological support systems”[1]. The above three aspects provide an understanding of the concept of sustainability that is also the foundation of the Triple Bottom Line[2]. In terms of theories of sustainability, Stubbs and Cocklin[3] advised these three areas attempt to integrate and prioritise society’s response to cultural and environmental issues. The Brundtland Report of 1987 embodies the above[4], as does the ‘weak’ model of sustainability[5]. It (weak model) espouses that future generations should not be left any worse off than we presently are (as opposed to strong sustainability that prioritises preserving a species or ecosystem)[6]. The economic model of sustainability proposes sustaining opportunities is an investment, whilst the ecological model seeks to sustain diversity in a biological manner and attempt integrity ecologically[7]. The political model is concerned with how global and local environmental issues impact current and future life[8]. In terms of the above, the weak and economic models will apply since this study represents looking at a business issue.

[1] ConceptDraw. Path to sustainable development. 2016. https://conceptdraw.com/a99c3/preview--Venn%20diagram%20-%20Path%20to%20sustainable%20development. (Accessed 2017-11-11).

[2] Bob Willard. The new sustainability advantage: seven business case benefits of a triple bottom line. British Columbia: New Society Publishers, 2012.

[3] Wendy Stubbs and Chris Cocklin. Conceptualizing a “sustainability business model”. Organization & Environment 21, no. 2, 2008, pp. 103 – 127.

[4] Renee Kemp and Pim Martens. Sustainable development: how to manage something that is subjective and never can be achieved? Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 3, no. 2, 2007, pp. 32-39.

[5] FionaTileyand  William Young. Sustainability Entrepreneurs. Greener Management Journal 55, no. 7, 2009, pp. 79-92.

[6] Ibid

[7] F. Delrue, P. Setier, C. Sahut, and L. Courac. An economic, sustainability, and energetic model of biodiesel production from microalgae. Biosource Technology 111, no. 4, 2012, pp. 191-200.

[8] Stefan Schaltegger and Florian Ludeke-Freund, Erik Hansen. Business cases for sustainability: the role of business model innovation for corporate sustainability. International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development 6, no. 2, 2012, pp. 15-22.



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