Management of Creative Organizations: Four Ways to Reconcile Creation and Business
Creative organizations, defined as organizations in creative industries, are characterized by a tension between creation and business. While many authors have noted this tension, it has not been systematically analyzed and theorized. In addition, the literature does not address in a fine-grained manner the question of the management of creative work in creative organizations. This research mobilizes Boltanski and Thévenot (1991)’s theory of justification to explore how through the management of creative work, the tension between creation and business is addressed in creative organizations. Based on the study of 11 small advertising agencies, we identify four profiles for the management of creative work: versatile, creator, manager, and technician. All the studied agencies seem to face the creation and business tension. Drawing on Boltanski and Thévenot (1991)’s framework, every profile is analyzed in terms of compromises between different worlds that allow the agencies to deal with the tension between creation and business. This research contributes to the literature in two ways. First, we develop a typology for the management of creative work that suggests four viable ways of structuring creative work in advertising agencies. Second, we analyze how the tension between creation and business is managed differently in the four types of advertising agencies.