Sub-theme 12: (SWG) Processes of Organizational Creativity: Collective Entrepreneurship, Co-Creation and Collaborative Innovation

Daniel Hjorth
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Chris Steyaert
St. Gallen University, Switzerland
Gail Whiteman
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University, The Netherlands

Call for Papers

Are we moving from an industrial into a post-industrial era, one that can address the multiplicity of demands from a growing population and resource-depleted world? This would mean profound social, cultural, economic and political changes. Information- and communication technology (ICT) plays an important role, not only as facilitating such processes, but also as a part of a social machine that potentialises connections and increases the productive capacities of assemblages. The so-called Arabic Spring provides ample proof of the power of ICT in helping to manifest democratising tendencies in societies. Governmental responses to the London riots (including Cameron's call to ban Facebook, Twitter and BlackBerry messenger) and to The Occupy movement show that such tendencies do not go unchecked or unchallenged (e.g., the 'hacktivist' group Anonymous, Toronto).

People rapidly communicate visions of a future they want to invent including illustrations of a world they want to escape from. They connect in order to increase their capacity as a collective creative force, actualising such a future. The crowd, the multitude, the assemblage, the ensemble, the movement? the creative force of the collective/social body is manifest in these processes. The various ‘social media’ platforms, the town square and public space are where a virtual-actual organisation goes on in order to create new orders and disassemble existing ones.

We have a long history of understanding new orders from the perspective of the results they generate, and of looking for the doer behind the deed, assuming that individuality is a key factor in explaining creation. In contrast, a process philosophical approach provides us with other questions on and relationships to creation. We are provided with capacities to think beyond the structure/agent Stilleben. When passage and movement take priority over position and rest, we instead look for forces in order to understand how what becomes, becomes the way it does. Rather than agents and subjects, and the structures they 'fight', we turn towards bodies and powers, desires and intensities, affects and mo(ve)ments as not limited to the individual, the subjective. Deleuze stands in the midst of this philosophy, pulling Whitehead, Bergson, Spinoza and Nietzsche together in a highly potentialised conceptual assemblage. Also Foucault has shown the way, turning social theory and historical analysis towards power and becomings.

The post-industrial also means a radically intensified focus on collective-social capacities for creativity, entrepreneurship and sustainable innovation. Collaborations, co-creation networks, collective entrepreneurship are crucial for companies to stay and build competitive strength and address a resource-constrained planet. Will collaborative competition eventually change the neo-liberal emphasis on competition and open for new economic and more sustainable models? Will the recent entrepreneurialisation of societies and economies paradoxically open up to a more collective, socially fair, low-carbon and collaborative era?

Continuing this Standing Working Group on process thinking/philosophy and organization (initiated in 2012), this year we want to focus on the social, collective side of creation. Entrepreneurship and innovation are central to this. Both for societies and businesses as they seek new organisational forms that will open other ways of creating new orders, and different forms of collective, creative engagement.

We thus invite papers, essays, and performances on (but not limited to) topics and themes such as:

  • Social entrepreneurship and democracy
  • Sustainability and social change
  • Co-creation
  • Collaborative innovation
  • Social forms of creativity
  • ICT and organisational capacity
  • ICT and social entrepreneurship
  • Process philosophy and creation processes
  • Process thinking and methods for studying collective creation
  • Process philosophy and the politics of social innovation
  • ...


Daniel Hjorth is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Organisation at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. He is Research Director for the Management Research Group. His latest books include "The Politics and Aesthetics of Entrepreneurship" (2009), edited with Chris Steyaert, and he is presently editor for the "Handbook of Organisational Entrepreneurship" (2012) and (co-editing) the "Oxford Handbook of Process Philosophy and Organisation Studies".
Chris Steyaert is Professor for Organizational Psychology at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and has published in international journals and books in the area of organizational theory and entrepreneurship. His latest books are "The Politics and Aesthetics of Entrepreneurship" (2009, edited with Daniel Hjorth and published by Edward Elgar) and "Relational Practices, Participative Organizing" (2010, edited with Bart Van Looy and published by Emerald).
Gail Whiteman is Professor and Ecorys NEI Chair in Sustainability and Climate Change at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University, The Netherlands, and Professor-in-Residence at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). She is co-founder and the Director of the Centre for Corporate Eco-Transformation at Erasmus University. Her research has been published in leading management and ecology journals such as 'The Academy of Management Journal', 'Organization Studies', 'Nature', and 'Ecology & Society'.