Sub-theme 29: Craft and Emerging Forms of Organizing ‘Making’ in Cultural and Creative Organizations

Marta Gasparin
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Daniel Hjorth
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Elena Raviola
University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Call for Papers

The background of this sub-theme includes emerging societal trends that have resulted in a symbolic initiative on EU-level called The New European Bauhaus ( (NEB). This political vision – beautiful |sustainable | together – has resulted in policies that drive research and development. Hundreds of millions of Euros have been dedicated to stimulating, supporting, researching and developing a more enriching, sustainable, and inclusive life for citizens. Emerging trends sustaining the NEB vision are: urban development, an increasingly digitalized society and creative economy (with subsequent developments of innovative business models (Gambardella & McGahan, 2010) and new organizational challenges; Amit & Zott, 2012; McKinlay & Smith, 2009; Raviola, 2017), climate changes urging us to seek out new modes and models for production and making such that a more sustainable economy and society can be achieved (Bouchard, 2012; Johnsen, Olaison & Sørensen, 2018; Duxbury, 2021), and the related surge of interest in craft-based making of food, beverages, and things, which is often tied to local, sustainable production, re-use economy, and the concern for quality that follows from this (Bell & Vachhani, 2020; Gasparin & Neyland, 2022). We see emerging forms of organizing where aesthetics, ecology, new nature-culture-relationships, the return of the hand in making, and an ethics of care (for quality, the local, the environment, and life) are central themes (Gasparin & Quinn, 2021; Hjorth, 2022).
In terms of organization studies, this is interesting and important for several reasons. Firstly, these tendencies in society and the economy drive and are driven by relatively new forms of organizing that we may call rhizomatic and operating in more assemblage-like modes (Hjorth & Holt, 2022). As such, they seem to draw upon the recent development of a more process-oriented, new materialist and posthuman knowledge, theory and methodology in organization studies (Helin, Hernes; Langley & Tsoukas, 2017; Barad, 2003; Harding, Gilmore & Ford, 2022). Secondly, they also reflect a tendency – manifest primarily in the design boom (Dunne & Raby, 2013) experienced during the last two decades – that the aesthetic-economy relationship has become increasingly important for users’/citizens’/consumers’ judgment of what is valuable (Austin, Hjorth, & Hessel, 2018; Islam, Endrissat & Noppeney, 2016; Stigliani & Ravasi, 2018; Cacciatore & Panozzo, 2022). Thirdly and finally, these trends point us to a more than two decades long evolution of more local- and community-based forms of organizing the economy, in which craft culture and craft businesses play a central role (Sasaki et al, 2019). Together we see these converge into a crossroad where a future of potentially more inclusive, sustainable and creative organizations and society are at stake.
Against this backdrop, we suggest it is timely and important to reflect on these tendencies (as ‘futurities’) or inclinations to become, and their corresponding resonance in organization studies, in a sub-theme that relates craft and emerging (and new) forms of organizing. Such forms of organizing, where the aesthetic, ecological, embedded and embodied are central concerns, are found in (but not restricted to) craft businesses and more broadly in the so-called cultural and creative industries. In what we hope is a returning theme among EGOS’ sub-themes, we would like to point to this empirical realm as of particular interest this time.
Apart from this sub-theme’s main topic, there are several related areas of interest that can form the topic of papers submitted. Allow us to exemplify while encouraging you not to be limited by our imagination:

  • Craft, tradition, innovation and authenticity – a tricky balance

  • Business models and business model innovation in craft industries

  • Craft and entrepreneurship

  • Craft, local economies and a relational ethics of organizing (care)

  • Craft, aesthetics and economy

  • The art of organizing craft and the craft of organizing art (curating)

  • Organizational creativity and innovation in cultural and creative industries

  • Cultural entrepreneurship and craft

  • Cultural and Creative Industries – and cultural entrepreneurship

  • Culture, history, and craft and business forms

  • Craft and community organization, local-regional economies and new movements

  • Craft businesses in a platform economy

  • Craft as embodied and material forms of organizing: the posthuman and new materialist organization studies

  • Circular economy, sustainable production, and craft

  • History, culture, and cultural and creative industries

  • Craft and the organizing of public space (new commons)

  • Crafting research on craft: method challenges in new materialist research

These themes can be combined or combined with method challenges related to critically and creatively studying craft as a historically embedded, recently ‘hyped’ form of business organization (cf. Wadhwani et al., 2018).


  • Amit, R., & Zott, C. (2012): “Creating Value through Business Model Innovation.” MIT Sloan Management Review, 53 (3), 41–49.
  • Austin, R., Hjorth, D., & Hessel, S. (2018): “How Aesthetics and Economy Become Conversant in Creative Firms.” Organization Studies, 39 (11), 1501–1519.
  • Barad, K. (2003): “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter.” Signs, 28 (3), 801–831.
  • Bell, E., & Vachhani, S.J. (2020): “Relational Encounters and Vital Materiality in the Practice of Craft Work.” Organization Studies, 41 (5), 681–701.
  • Bouchard, M.J. (2012): “Social innovation, an analytical grid for understanding the social economy: The example of the Québec housing sector.” Service Business, 6 (1), 47–59.
  • Cacciatore S., & Panozzo, F. (2021): “Models for Art & Business Cooperation.” Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy, 7 (2), 169–198.
  • Dunne, A., & Raby, F. (2013): Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  • Duxbury, N. (2021): “Cultural and creative work in rural and remote areas: an emerging international conversation.” International Journal of Cultural Policy, 27 (6): 753–767.
  • European Union (2018): Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL establishing the Creative Europe programme (2021 to 2027) and repealing Regulation. Retrieved from
  • Gambardella, A., & McGahan, A.M. (2010): “Business-Model Innovation: General Purpose Technologies and Their Implications for Industry Structure.” Long Range Planning, 43 (2–3), 262–271.
  • Gasparin, M., & Neyland, D. (2022): “Organizing Tekhnē: Configuring processes and politics through craft.” Organization Studies, 43 (7), 1137–1160.
  • Gasparin, M., & Quinn, M. (2021): “Designing regional innovation systems in transitional economies: A creative ecosystem approach.” Growth and Change, 52 (2), 621–640.
  • Harding, N., Gilmore, S., & Ford, J. (2022): “Matter That Embodies: Agentive Flesh and Working Bodies/Selves.” Organization Studies, 43 (5), 649–668.
  • Helin, J., Hernes, T., Hjorth, D., & Holt, R. (eds.) (2014): The Oxford Handbook of Process Philosophy and Organization Studies, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  • Hjorth, D., & Holt, R. (2022): Entrepreneurship and the Creation of Organization. New York: Routledge.
  • Hjorth, D. (2022): "Toward a More Cultural Understanding of Entrepreneurship." In: C. Lockwood, & J.-F. Soublière (eds.): Advances in Cultural Entrepreneurship (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 80), Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited, 81–96.
  • Islam, G., Endrissat, N., & Noppeney, C. (2016): “Beyond ‘the Eye’ of the Beholder: Scent innovation through analogical reconfiguration.” Organization Studies, 37 (6), 769–795.
  • Johnsen, C.G., Olaison, L., & Sørensen, B.M. (2018): “Put Your Style at Stake: A New Use of Sustainable Entrepreneurship.” Organization Studies, 39 (2–3), 397–415.
  • McKinlay, A., & Smith, C. (eds.) (2009): Creative Labour: Working in the Creative Industries. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Raviola, E. (2017): “Meetings between frames: Negotiating worth between journalism and management.” European Management Journal, 35 (6), 737–744.
  • Stigliani, I., & Ravasi, D. (2018): “The Shaping of Form: Exploring Designers’ Use of Aesthetic Knowledge.” Organization Studies, 39 (5–6), 747–784.
  • Sasaki, I., Ravasi, D., & Micelotta, E. (2019): “Family Firms as Institutions: Cultural reproduction and status maintenance among multi-centenary shinise in Kyoto.” Organization Studies, 40 (6), 793–831.
  • Wadhwani, R.D., Suddaby, R., Mordhorst, M., & Popp, A. (2018): “History as Organizing: Uses of the Past in Organization Studies.” Organization Studies, 39 (12), 1663–1683.
Marta Gasparin is an Associate Professor at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. She is the PI of the €4 million EU-grant on Craft and New Technologies (starting 2023).
Daniel Hjorth is Professor in the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, Lecturer at Lund University School of Economics and Management, Sweden, and Adjunct Professor at Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University, Japan.
Elena Raviola is Söderberg Professor in Design Management at the Design Unit, Gothenberg University, Sweden, and Deputy Head of Department at the Academy of Art and Design.