Sub-theme 25: Space and the agenda of creative collaboration and entrepreneurship


Jochen Schweitzer, University of Sydney Technology, Australia
Joanne Jakovich, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Susanne Ollila, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Anna Yström, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Call for Papers

Research on creative innovation has concentrated on emphasizing the importance of communication for successful problem-solving and knowledge creation while the importance of the physical setting for these processes has been overlooked (Tyre and von Hippel 1997). Nevertheless, there is a growing understanding of the importance of space as an enabler of creativity and the emergence of entrepreneurial activity. Kristensen (2004: 89) agues that “creativity takes place in a physical context and that the framing of this space stimulates or inhibits creative thinking. Moultrie et al. (2007: 53) point out that “the spaces in which creative and innovative activities take place are an important part of the innovation process”. Space is the place where ideas have ownership; it is the asset for creative thinking.

Many organisations are now installing living labs. Magadley and Birdi (2009) suggest that spaces designed for fostering creativity have a different physical layout, a range of high- and low-tech supporting tools, and expert facilitators. Such spaces have a positive impact on creativity and on participants’ attitudes towards it. Universities and schools too are following this trend to embed the design language of innovation labs into educational contexts. Zitter, et al (2011) claim that adaptive elements which are left open to be specified by all participants, are necessary in an emergent environment so as learners do not feel overwhelmed by the lack of structure. Hence, spaces can represent adaptive elements of learning environments when they are open to be designed and specified by their users. This is in line with research that has stressed that spaces should be seen as constructed by their users (e.g. Kornberger and Clegg 2004; Edenius 2007).

On one hand this stream is interested in space itself: What makes a space a creative space or one that stimulates entrepreneurial activity? How do we build, develop, and maintain ‘creative spaces’? How can space promote organizational learning? On the other hand we are interested in the agenda of creative collaboration: What are different approaches to collective creativity? How does technologies support or hinder creative collaboration? What are the benefits of open innovation when it takes place in hubs, living labs and incubators?

We open invitations to submissions that might explore:

  • Open innovation and crowd-share innovation spaces – spaces that blend large scale public interaction with the organisation
  • Solving design issues for collaborative working models and space
  • Interdisciplinary commercial spaces spanning interactive art, experiential branding, and immersive products
  • Application of new social media tools to organisational creativity environments and collaborations
  • Integration of arts-related practices of theatre, role-play and gaming into spaces for inspiring creativity
  • “Sticky” workplaces and designing spaces for incidental interactions and non-linear thinking
  • The politics of space and creativity in organisations


Tyre MJ and Von Hippel E (1997) The situated nature of adaptive learning in organizations. Organization science 8, 71-83.

Kristensen T (2004) The physical context of creativity. Creativity and Innovation Management 13, 89-96.

Magadley W and Birdi K (2009) Innovation labs: an examination into the use of physical spaces to enhance organizational creativity. Creativity and innovation management 18, 315-25.

Zitter I, De Bruijn E, Simons PRJ, and Ten Cate TJ (2011) Adding a design perspective to study learning environments in higher professional education. Higher Education 61, 371-86.

Kornberger M and Clegg SR (2004) Bringing space back in: organizing the generative building. Organization Studies 25, 1095-114.

Edenius M and Yakhlef A (2007) Space, Vision and Organizational Learning The Interplay of Incorporating and Inscribing Practices. Management Learning 38, 193-210.

Jochen Schweitzer is Senior Lecturer Strategy and Innovation at the Business School of the University of Technology, Sydney and the Co-Founder and Director of U.lab, a multidisciplinary innovation hub. His work focuses on strategic management, collaboration, entrepreneurship and innovation with a special interest in design thinking, open innovation and crowd-share innovation.

Joanne Jakovich is a designer, researcher and educator specialising in crowd-share innovation and its application to urban planning, governance and business innovation. She is a Senior Lecturer at the Schools of Design and Architecture at UTS and Co-Founder and Director of the U.lab, where she produced urban innovation projects such as Groundbreaker, BikeTank and CitySwitch.

Susanne Ollila is an Associate Professor at the Department of Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and faculty member of the Organizational Behavior faculty of Politecnico di Milano, Italy. She is Research Group Leader for Managing-in-between at Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship. Susanne’s research is focused mainly on organizational behaviour, management of open innovation, knowledge sharing and entrepreneurship.

Anna Yström is a Post-Doctoral researcher at the Department of Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. Anna’s research is focused on managing different forms of inter-organizational collaboration and new ways of organizing creative and innovative work.

Posted On: June 8, 2014
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