Constraint-Shattering Practices and Creative Action in Organizations
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonOrganization Studies, 35(2014)4:587-611 10.1177/0170840613517597
This study contributes insights on how actors cope with constraints in ill-structured problem-solving situations, and what implications this coping has for creative action. To date, most research on constraint handling has treated constraints, regardless of their nature, origin, or role, as external factors that enable or hinder creativity. In contrast, we consider constraints to be inextricably intertwined with all creative action. We focus our study on one specific practice for constraint handling: namely, shattering. Empirical data were collected for 12 projects in two engineering consulting firms, and four shattering practices were identified: protesting, proposing, betraying, and sabotaging. We discuss their enactment in various parts of the problem space and their implications for the management of creative action in organizations.
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