Innovation Under Pressure and the Speeding Up of Organizational Life

Ideas Research Workshop Featuring Dr. Jan Pfister

The incredible innovation that occurs in our capitalist system has benefited our society in a plethora of ways, such as increasing connection, efficiency, and comfort.

Yet according to Dr. Jan Pfister, there can be serious victims of this system.

In his presentation on Nov. 20th, he analyzes some important questions such as…

Has innovation improved the quality of life?

How do we create more meaningful work?

How does our work culture affect mental and physical health?

Especially when considering the effects of Covid-19 on our work culture, there is no better time to answer these questions!.

Who is Dr. Jan Pfister? 

Dr. Jan Pfister, House of Innovation

Dr. Pfister is a senior lecturer at the Department of Accounting and Finance at Turku School of Economics and a research fellow at the House of Innovation at Stockholm School of Economics.

He focuses much of his research on management control systems, creativity and innovation, and performance measurement and management.

Additionally, he has had a dissertation published as a book which won a Best Paper Award at the Research Ethics Symposium of the American Accounting Association.

Throw a Ph.D. from the University of Zurich on top of all that, and that makes him a thoroughly educated presenter.

The Presentation

Dr. Pfister first made clear that innovation under capitalism has created some truly amazing things.

Take Covid-19 for example. Through video communication, we were able to stay connected during a worldwide pandemic!

Furthermore, just think about how many lives medical innovation has saved.

Dr. Pfister’s area of focus today is on how companies are increasing innovation.

The first study he analyzed looked at innovating under pressure and showed that if a company can provide the correct environment, it can achieve stretch goals that seemed near impossible.

He explained a variety of factors that went into this, but the one that stuck out the most to me is that an employee is much more likely to reach a stretch goal if they feel intrinsically motivated to do the task.

By creating a culture where the employees feel much more like an entrepreneur than a replaceable part of a machine, the company was able to achieve an unheard-of level of growth.

He also presented a study looking at the speeding up of organizational life.

One interesting part of this study was the comparison of chat versus email in a company setting.

As it turns out, chat platforms are becoming beneficial to companies as the speed of organizational life keeps increasing so rapidly.

These two studies were truly captivating, but Dr. Pfister points out that all this comes at a cost.

As innovation and the speed of organizational life keep increasing, things such as work-life balance, health, and wellbeing are sometimes sacrificed. 

Learn More

I encourage you to watch this presentation in its entirety.

The astounding increases in innovation, juxtaposed with the negative effects it has on society, had me thinking about these issues long after the presentation ended.

To experience it yourself, watch the recording below.

Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Written by Shane Corbett. Shane is a freshman at NDSU and author of The Rational Student, a blog helping other students graduate from college debt-free.

Posted on December 3rd, 2020 by Shane Corbett in Ideas