Play at Work: Continuation, Intervention and Usurpation

Bent Meier Sørensen, Sverre Spoelstra

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The interest in organizational play is growing, both in popular business discourse and organization studies. As the presumption that play is dysfunctional for organizations is increasingly discarded, the existing positions may be divided into two camps; one proposes ‘serious play’ as an engine for business and the other insists that work and play are largely indistinguishable in the postindustrial organization. Our field study of a design and communications company in Denmark shows that organizational play can be much more than just functional to the organization. We identify three ways in which workplaces engage in play: play as a (serious) continuation of work, play as a (critical) intervention into work and play as an (uninvited) usurpation of work.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)81-97
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Creative Industries
  • Organizational Play
  • Serious Play
  • Work and Play

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