Michael A. Roberto, Richard M.J. Bohmer, and Amy C. Edmondson

A firm can adopt one of two mind-sets: It can apply an operational mind-set, approaching work as a routinized endeavor amenable to a standardized set of procedures and supported by detailed budgets and schedules. Alternatively, an organization can adopt an experimental mind-set-approaching work much like a research and development effort in which testing, learning, and adaptation take precedence over standardization. In such an environment, much more exploratory behavior occurs, and people remain mindful of the imprecise state of technical knowledge. Firms get into trouble when they apply the wrong mind-set to an organization.

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