Toward a Definition of the Creative Organization


Bérubé, J., Demers, C. & Déry, R. 39th Administrative Sciences Association of Canada. «Toward a Definition of the Creative Organization ». (Montréal, juillet 2011).


Creative organizations are struggling with a constant tension between creation and business. Many studies in the business field have addressed this tension but it has rarely been theorized yet. We have mobilized the theory of justification of Boltanski and Thévenot (2006) to better understand this tension in creative organizations. In their theoretical framework, the tension between creation and business can be conceived as a tension between the inspired and the market worlds. Based on 35 semi-structured interviews in 11 advertising agencies, we identified four profiles for the management of creative organizations: versatile, creator, manager, and technician. Four worlds of Boltanski and Thévenot (2006) coexist in each profile. The compromises between these worlds allow us to understand how the tension between creation and business is managed leading to the viability of these creative organizations. This communication contributes to the field of organizational studies by drawing on Boltanski and Thévenot (2006) to show how different combinations of compromises between worlds help explain the management of tensions in creative organizations.