Network Creativity: A Conceptual Lens for Inter- and Intra-Organization Creative Processes


  • Hemonnet-Goujot Aurélie
  • Ivens Björn
  • Pardo Catherine


  • Creativity
  • Networks
  • Business ecosystems
  • Multi-actor creative processes

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Creativity is an important concept discussed in different managerial disciplines. It has mainly been dealt with at the individual level. Interest in team creativity, or organizational creativity, is fairly recent in the literature, and the literature provides scarcely any guidance on creativity in inter-organizational processes. Yet, interorganizational creativity is increasingly important for companies on B2B markets that transform into network or ecosystem structures. This conceptual paper aims to answer the following two research questions: (1) How can the phenomenon of interorganizational creativity be characterized from a multi-level perspective outside the classical boundaries of organizations? (2) Which mechanisms can be employed to govern such a networked and multilevel form of creativity? Building on both the literature on creativity as well as on business markets, we first assess various perspectives of creativity when the concept is extended beyond the narrow meaning of ‘individual creativity’ to propose and define the term “network creativity” as a multilevel and boundary-spanning framing process. Second, this paper assesses various governance types and discusses how they may apply in a network creativity context. From a managerial perspective, this paper offers a new theoretical tool to capture and assess an emerging contemporaneous and complex B2B phenomenon.

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