This study examines whether the same personal and contextual characteristics that enhance innovation could also contribute to quality and efficiency. Three hundred and forty-nine engineers and technicians in 21 units of a large R&D company participated in the study. Using CFA and HLM models, we demonstrated that people have the ability to both be creative and pay attention to detail, and that an innovative culture does not necessarily compete with a culture of quality and efficiency. Yet, to reach innovative performance creative people need to take the initiative in promoting their ideas, with the possible corresponding price of low performance quality. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.