Creative Organizations: when Management Fosters Creative Work
Creative organizations are characterized by a tension between creative work and business. Our research mobilizes Boltanski and Thévenot’s Economies of Worth framework to explore, through the concept of compromise, how this tension is accommodated in the management of creative workers. Based on our study of eleven small advertising agencies, we identify four profiles for the management of creative work: Versatile, Creator, Manager, and Technician. Each of those profiles deals differently with the tension between creative work and business. Drawing on Boltanski and Thévenot’s framework, every profile is analyzed in terms of compromises between orders of worth, that allow the agencies to properly manage the tension. Moreover, instead of seeing management as killing creative work, we show how it can foster it. Our research contributes to the literature by developing a typology for the management of creative work that suggests four viable ways to structure creative work in advertising agencies.