Research on creative organizations often highlights a concern that economic influences on creative work might crowd out aesthetic influences. How this concern can be managed, however, is not well understood. Using a case study of an economic/aesthetic conflict within a design firm, we develop theory to describe how the economic and aesthetic can be constructively combined. We propose the concept of conversation as a way of theorizing a constructed sociality via which creative firms manage this conflict; we also propose the concept of ensemble as a way of theorizing a conversationally nurtured but fragile form of intensified sociality that most successfully combines conflicting influences when it can be achieved. Together, these theoretical conceptualizations contribute new insights and help organize a fragmented landscape of ideas about work in creative firms.
Bibliographical notePublished online: 26. October 2017
- Creative economy
- Creative firms
- Group creativity
- Organizational aesthetics