Vol. 20 - 3
Ideas are feelings first: epiphanies in everyday workplace creativity
Stewart Clegg, Ad van Iterson, Arne Carlsen.
Pages : 221-238
This paper contributes to the literature on workplace creativity by combining insights on epiphanies with theory on the embodied and relational nature of understanding. We explore and develop the concept of epiphany, defined as a sudden and transient manifestation of insight. Primarily, we are interested in the implications of the concept’s artistic and philosophical origins for organizational creativity. We start from a consideration of the importance of epiphany in the literary works of Joyce, who underlined the crucial aspect of the conjunction of different human senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching). Next, we draw up upon the theory of insights as embodied, experientially felt qualities, as described by Mark Johnson (2007) and predecessors in pragmatism. Using three sets of empirical snippets as aids to reasoning, we arrive at renewed understanding of epiphany as a phenomenon in creativity that is experientially multi-sensuous and collective rather than merely cognitive and individual. Epiphanies are typically manifest as a series of felt occurrences arising within collective practice, follow from a history of preparation, and do not solely involve breakthrough ideas but can also include feelings of doubt, movement, opening up or disconfirmation. Understanding epiphanies in this way extends research on organizational creativity as collective practice. The article suggests further attention be paid to the transient and noetic qualities of work on ideas in organizations, such as visual and material stimuli in sensorial preparations of creativity and the use of openness in marking felt insights.
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Organizational Behavior - Theory Development
What are management tools made of? The “listic” structure of managerial artifacts
Pages : 239-265
The literature on management tools has shown that they are composed of three interacting elements: a managerial philosophy, simplified view of organizational relationships, and technical substrate (Hatchuel & Weil, 1992). This article focuses on the latter, which is rarely taken as a specific research object, and explores the “artifactual” dimension of management tools. Using the work of the anthropologist Jack Goody (1977) on the evolution of oral societies toward written societies, this article shows that some management artifacts are based on a “listic” structure, which leads to: (1) a description of the structuring dynamics of these management artifacts, which evolves between rationalization and contextualization according to an ordering principle of the list; (2) a distinction between open tools and closed tools, two genres that call for different modes of design and implementation; (3) a renewal of critical research around three typical phenomena of the list—“gap-spotting,” “table-of-contentism,” and “don juanism”; and (4) two lines of research on the appropriation and design of management artifacts. | Download PDF (EN) | Télécharger PDF (FR)
Innovation & Technology - Theory Development
Does strategy formalization foster innovation? Evidence from a French sample of small to medium-sized enterprises
Marc Fréchet, Hervé Goy.
Pages : 266-286
Despite abundant research, the relationship between strategy formalization and innovation remains unclear. Some acknowledge a positive impact of strategy formalization on innovation while others consider it an impediment to novelty and creation. Going beyond the conflicting views over the influence of formalization, we combine open innovation and socio-material perspectives. This study aims to contribute to the debate by considering the possibility that formalization is a means of benefiting from openness with respect to innovation. Therefore, we predict that formalization might positively moderate the impact of openness on innovation. Relying on a unique sample of 555 SMEs, we investigate the effects of strategy formalization and openness—according to their various facets and interactions—on new product innovation. We find a positive influence of formalization (whether it is approached as a process or as a strategic tool) on product innovation. Our findings also support the idea that formalization increases the effectiveness of openness on innovation performance. Implications are discussed, and future research directions are outlined at the end. | Download PDF (EN)
Entrepreneurship - Innovation & Technology - Quantitative Methods - Strategy & Business Policy
The Laws of Globalization and Business Applications
Pages : 287-297
In The Laws of Globalization and Business Applications, Pankaj Ghemawat continues to defend his antithesis against the common image of the world as global. He does so by introducing the two regularities of international activity: the law of semiglobalization and the law of distance. Through a range of empirical methodologies, Ghemawat tests these two laws and finds that international business interactions rarely exceed 30%. Based on these results, Ghemawat challenges our assumptions that the world is globalized. He explains that international business interactions continue to be important but that the world is rather semiglobalized. The majority of business flows continue to occur locally, which indicates that different types of distance continue to restrain business activities. These findings should, according to Ghemawat, change both how researchers study international busi | Download PDF (EN)
I thought I only had to have an idea (l’homme qui marche)
Pages : 298-299
Creative non-fiction in journalism uses narrative means from fiction to highlight dramatic tensions of reality; it thus puts the subjectivity of authors at the heart of the writing process, in order to capture the unfolding experience and practice of ordinary people. The life of academics is punctuated by astonishing, ordinary, ceremonial, or dramatic scenes that sometimes take place in liminal spaces but may constitute a core social part of research practice. The Unplugged “Academic Non-Fiction” section is dedicated to sharing these moments.
The following text attempts a minor usage of English, as the major language in management and organization studies. As Deleuze and Guattari have theorized in Kafka, towards a minor literature, a minor usage stutters and stammers the major, breaks with the operation of ‘order-words’, composes a music of words, a painting with words, a silence within words, it is connected to the wider social and political milieu and paves the way for a community to come.
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Management and Organization in the work of Michel Houellebecq
Boukje Cnossen, Erwin Dekker, Laurent Taskin.
Pages : 300-321
Research in management and organization may only gain by being inspired from arts, culture and humanities in order to rethink practices but also to nourish its own perspectives. Life in organizations is artificially separate from ordinary life: all of mundane objects are thus conducive to astonishment, inspiration, and even problematization. The unplugged subsection “voices” gives the opportunity to academics and non-academics to deliver an interpretation about an object from the cultural or artistic world. Interpreted objects are or not directly related to organizational life, resonate or not with the moment, but share some intriguing features. These interpretations suggest a patchwork of variations on the same object. | Download PDF (EN)