Organizational creativity as an attributional process: The case of haute cuisine

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In this paper, we develop a framework that conceptualizes organizational creativity as an attributional process in which organizational creativity is constantly negotiated between an organization and its environment through ‘entre-relating activities’. Based on an empirical analysis of this process in the haute-cuisine restaurant Rutz in Berlin, we explore four entre-relating activities – surprising, satisfying, stimulating and savouring – through which ‘being creative’ and ‘being considered creative’ are set in relation to negotiate the attribution of organizational creativity. Our findings demonstrate how the sequential performance of these entre-relating activities is consequential for the gradual transition of external evaluations of an organization’s outcomes, from being considered ‘different’ to ‘one of a kind’, and thus the increasing attribution of organizational creativity over time. Our study contributes to the literature on organizational creativity by exploring the interplay between ‘being creative’ and ‘being considered creative’ through entre-relating activities, which is foundational for understanding organizational creativity. Furthermore, our findings put aesthetic responses at the centre of organizational creativity and demonstrate the playfulness of the process through which the attribution of organizational creativity is produced.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number2-3
Pages (from-to)251-270
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2018
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Management studies - aesthetic responses, attribution process, being different, being one of a kind, entre-relating, haute cuisine, organizational creativity, play