Marc Stierand - Viktor Dörfler - Jillian MacBryde
Innovation of Extraordinary Chefs: Development Process or Systemic Phenomenon?
(Full Paper)

Conference: BAM 2009
Theme: The End of the Pier? Competing perspectives on the challenges facing business and management
Presenter: Marc Stierand
Date: 15-17 September 2009
Place: Brighton Centre, Brighton
ISBN: 0-9549608-5-8

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A highly rated current study on culinary innovation was found to be too product- and service-oriented and narrow, more appropriate to describe the culinary craft than the culinary art Creativity seems to be put into a box and is sold as a well-structured task. Creativity, however, is an ill-structured problem solving and a systemic phenomenon. It requires social validation from the gatekeepers of the domain and if accepted changes an existing domain or transforms an existing domain into a new one. These theoretical findings were supported by selected empirical data from 19 phenomenological interviews with extraordinary chefs from the UK, France, Spain, Austria and Germany. It emerged from the interview analysis that culinary innovation is more than just product or service development and that extraordinary chefs use ill-structured problem solving. Finally, it was shown that the field and the domain have significant influence on the individual chef and her/his creations.