Self-organisation: A "Silver Bullet"" for Creativity?

Nils K├Ânig & Nick Mikael Ahleskog

Student thesis: Master thesis


This dissertation provides insight into how self-organisation as a system can foster creativity in an organisational context. Based on an extensive literature review, we selected a number of factors that influence creativity and related them to self-organisation, drawing on both existing self-organisation theories and our own implications. The research of this dissertation aims at examining whether and how those factors are fulfilled in real selforganised settings and how professional individuals and organisations deal with conflicts that self-organisation theoretically imposes on creativity. In addition, we address how different forms of self-organisation relate to creativity in varying ways. To do this, we conducted in-depth interviews with 13 employees from three different self-organised organisations, two of which we interpret as self-led (with high autonomy levels), and one as self-managed (with lower autonomy levels). The findings show that self-organisation as a system indeed has the potential to foster creativity. In some aspects, the studied organisations however struggle to fully utilise this potential and to transform it to actual creative behaviour. A final finding is that, according to our expectations, self-leadership has an even stronger positive influence on creativity compared to self-management. All results are critically discussed and managerial implications as to how occurring problems can be resolved are presented.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages140
SupervisorsChristian De Cock