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THE ROUTINIZATION OF CREATIVITY: Lessons from the Case of a video-game Creative Powerhouse

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  • Patrick Cohendet
  • Patrick Llerena
  • Laurent Simon
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    Abstract

    The aim of this contribution is to proceed to an in-depth exploration of the micro-context of the origin of routines and of their intimate link with organizational creativity. Our view is that organizational creativity orchestrates continuous interactions between different types of routines, operating at different levels of the organization. More precisely we propose distinguishing three types of routines: - First, the routines issued from formal structures or hierarchical working groups in the firm (functional groups, project teams, task force, etc.), for which the context of work and coordination of specialized tasks is defined ex ante by the hierarchy of the firm; - Second, the routines emerging from informal structures, the “knowing communities” which is a “generic term that defines different types of autonomous learning groups of individuals (communities of practice, epistemic communities, and other more or less informal learning groups) united by common beliefs and interests who voluntarily share their resources on a long term basis in order to create and diffuse knowledge” - Third, the routines that are inherently related to the organizational creativity of the firm, which are essentially corporate routines as expression of patterns of thinking, feeling and acting in the corporate culture. In essence they are the genes of collective identity, and take the shape of project management staging and gating principles and practices, framing collective divergent exploration and convergent production toward a creative goal. The contribution is based on an in-depth analysis of the organizational creativity in the world- leading videogame company, Ubisoft, with a special focus on the studio located in Montréal. To some extent, Ubisoft is one of the flagships of the “creative industries”, in which the clear imperative is to sustain creativity on a permanent basis. These reasons explain the choice we made to test our approach of organizational creativity and routines in this firm.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg in its series Working Papers of BETA with number 2012-05.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2012-05

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    References

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    1. Richard Florida & Charlotta Mellander & Kevin Stolarick, 2008. "Inside the black box of regional development: human capital, the creative class and tolerance," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(5), pages 615-649, September.
    2. Claudia Curi & Cinzia Daraio & Patrick Llerena, 2012. "University Technology Transfer: How (in-)efficient are French universities?," Working Papers of BETA 2012-02, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    3. Teppo Felin & Nicolai J. Foss, 2004. "Organizational Routines A Sceptical Look," DRUID Working Papers 04-13, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    4. Witt, Ulrich, 2009. "Propositions about novelty," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 311-320, May.
    5. Brian J. Loasby, . "The Organisation of Capabilities," Working Papers Series 96/6, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    6. Olivier Cardi & Romain Restout, 2014. "Unanticipated vs. Anticipated Tax Reforms in a Two-Sector Open Economy," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 373-406, April.
    7. Avadikyan, Arman & Llerena, Patrick & Matt, Mireille & Rozan, Anne & Wolff, Sandrine, 2001. "Organisational rules, codification and knowledge creation in inter-organisation cooperative agreements," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1443-1458, December.
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