Department of Management

Exploring boundary-spanning practices among creativity managers

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal article

    Poul Houman Andersen, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Hanne Kragh
Purpose – External inputs are critical for organisational creativity. In order to bridge different thought worlds and cross-organisational barriers, managers must initiate and motivate boundary spanning processes. The purpose of this paper is to explore how boundary spanners manage creativity projects across organisational boundaries.
Design/methodology/approach – The authors link to previous literature and present findings from a comparative case study of managerial practices for managing creativity projects. Data were collected
through interviews, secondary materials, site visits and observation.
Findings – Three meta-practices used by managers to manage boundary-spanning creative projects are presented: defining the creative space, making space for creativity and acting in the creative space.
These practices are detailed in seven case studies of creative projects.
Research limitations/implications – The analysis focuses on boundary spanning as a management process rather than a capability for organisations to self-organise. It extends the “boundary spanning as practice” literature by focusing on boundary spanning as a managerial practice and brings the problems related to resource mobilisation across both organisational and departmental boundaries to the fore.
Practical implications – Understanding the managerial dilemma faced by creativity managers is a first step to finding solutions. The discussed practices may inspire managers both in resolving creativity management problems and through self-reflection.
Originality/value – The authors contribute to research on boundary spanning practices by linking to creativity research, and bridge to research on management and governance in distributed and lessdefined organisations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement Decision
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)763-785
Number of pages23
StatePublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • s Learning organizations, Knowledge creation, Business-to-business marketing, Case studies, Lateral thinking, Management techniques

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