*Alison Rieple, Westminster Business School, UK
Antonius van den Broek, Loughborough University London, UK
Alice Comi, Kingston Business School, UK
Manto Gotsi, Westminster Business School, UK
In this track we aim to increase our understanding of the organisational practices of design businesses. These could include, among others, digital design studios, product design firms, service design consultancies, fashion houses, computer game studios or architecture practices.
While a growing body of literature address the outcomes, processes and utility of design, there is still a paucity of research that addresses the organisational and managerial practices of businesses that offer such services.
Previous studies have indicated that such creativity-driven organisations often do not conform to what is described in the traditional management literature (e.g. DeFillippi et al., 2007). In contrast to traditional views of management which favours centralised control, managers in design businesses are frequently challenged by ideals of limited bureaucratic control, loose structures and informality.
To make sense of organisational and management practices in these organisations requires to embrace the paradoxes of individual and collective agency (Abecassis-Moedas et al., 2012), deliberate and emergent action (Comi & Whyte, 2017), visible and invisible hierarchies (Brown et al., 2010) and between creative exploration and routines (Andriopoulos & Lewis, 2010).
In this track we are interested in gaining a better understanding of how design businesses cope with such dichotomies and gain insights into the potentially peculiar way of organising that allow these businesses to thrive.
We encourage submissions that address conceptual, methodological and empirical concerns and particularly welcome critical management perspectives.
Indicative questions include:
• How do design businesses manage for competitiveness?
• How are management-decisions made in design businesses?
• How is power distributed in design businesses?
• How does identity and culture influence managerial practices in design businesses?
Abecassis-Moedas, C., Mahmoud-Jouini, S. B., DellEra, C., Manceau, D., & Verganti, R. (2012). Key resources and internationalization modes of creative knowledge-intensive business services: The case of design consultancies. Creativity and Innovation Management, 21(3), 315-331.
Brown, A. D., Kornberger, M., Clegg, S. R., & Carter, C. (2010). Invisible
walls and silent hierarchies: A case study of power relations in an architecture firm. Human Relations, 63(4), 525-549.
Comi, A., & Whyte, J. (2018). Future making and visual artefacts: an ethnographic study of a design project. Organization Studies, 39(8), 1055-1083.
DeFillippi, R., Grabher, G., & Jones, C. (2007). Introduction to paradoxes of creativity: Managerial and organizational challenges in the cultural economy. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 28, 511521.
Gotsi, M., Andropoulos, C., Lewis, M. W., & Ingram, A. E. (2010). Managing creatives: Paradoxical approaches to identity regulation. Human Relations, 63(6), 781805.
Ravasi, D., & Lojacono, G. (2005). Managing design and designers for strategic renewal. Long Range Planning, 38(1), 51-77.
Townley, B., Beech, N., & McKinlay, A. (2009). Managing in the creative industries: Managing the motley crew. Human Relations, 62(7), 939-962.