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Gaim, M., Wåhlin, N. & Jacobsson, M. (2019). The role of space for a paradoxical way of thinking and doing: a study of idea work in architectural firms. Creativity and Innovation Management, 28(2), 265-281
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of space for a paradoxical way of thinking and doing: a study of idea work in architectural firms
2019 (English)In: Creativity and Innovation Management, ISSN 0963-1690, E-ISSN 1467-8691, Vol. 28, no 2, p. 265-281Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is well established that engaging paradoxes and the role of space are important aspects of idea work. Although the significance has been recognized, studies that focus on the intersection between space and paradox are scarce. Accordingly, this article explores the intersection and focuses on the role of space in idea work characterized by paradoxes. More specifically, the aim of this article is twofold. First, the article aims at identifying the spatial conditions that enable organization members to think and act paradoxically. Second, the article aims at exploring how spatial conditions evoke a paradoxical way of thinking and doing. Based on three Scandinavian architectural firms, and through abductive inference, four spatial conditions are identified and outlined. The conditions are conceptualized as organized chaos, boundary(less)ness, premeditated spontaneity, and (re)framing. From the results, and through the discussion, the notion of “generative space” is introduced to explain the overall importance of spatiality, as well as how the interrelatedness of the conditions facilitates a paradoxical way of thinking and doing in idea work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2019
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-151500 (URN)10.1111/caim.12288 (DOI)000469267200011 ()
Available from: 2018-09-05 Created: 2018-09-05 Last updated: 2019-06-13Bibliographically approved
Gaim, M., Wåhlin, N., Cunha, M. P. & Clegg, S. (2018). Analyzing competing demands in organizations: a systematic comparison. Journal of Organization Design, 7(6)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Analyzing competing demands in organizations: a systematic comparison
2018 (English)In: Journal of Organization Design, ISSN 2245-408X, Vol. 7, no 6Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Organizational scholars have shown increasing interest in the ways in which managers enact and respond to competing demands and the tensions they prompt as constitutive elements of their organizations. There is now a proliferation of conceptualizations of such competing demands that can be somewhat confusing. We will enhance conceptual clarity by identifying seven constitutive empirical characteristics of competing demands: these consist of the existence of dyadic relations, contradiction, interrelatedness, complementarity, compatibility, simultaneity, and the existence of push-pull forces. We construct a comparative classification of competing demands using these characteristics as our distinguishing features. The result is a more nuanced understanding of how managers approach competing demands that can help scholars to minimize arbitrariness, interpret results, and compare contributions in the area in a much-needed step toward understanding and designing organizations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018
Keywords
competing demands, organizational contradictions, organizational design, organizational tensions, paradox theory
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-146350 (URN)10.1186/s41469-018-0030-9 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-04-05 Created: 2018-04-05 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
Blomquist, T., Wåhlin, N. & Lundin, R. A. (2017). Grass Root Involvement in a Mega Program: Managing and Working in Project Society. PM World Journal, 6(12)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Grass Root Involvement in a Mega Program: Managing and Working in Project Society
2017 (English)In: PM World Journal, ISSN 2330-4480, Vol. 6, no 12Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-142785 (URN)
Available from: 2017-12-11 Created: 2017-12-11 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
Gaim, M. & Wåhlin, N. (2016). In search of a creative space: A conceptual framework of synthesizing paradoxical tensions. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 32(1), 33-44
Open this publication in new window or tab >>In search of a creative space: A conceptual framework of synthesizing paradoxical tensions
2016 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Management, ISSN 0956-5221, E-ISSN 1873-3387, Vol. 32, no 1, p. 33-44Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We examine paradoxes in organizations and the organizations’ ability to deal with the resulting paradoxical tensions. Paradoxes constitute contradictory yet interrelated organizational demands that exist simultaneously, with the resulting tensions persisting over time. Irrespective of the prevailing evidence that engaging paradoxes leads to peak performance in the short-term, which reinforces long-term success, the question of how this might be done remains perplexing. Thus, based on pragmatic philosophy, this paper aims to increase our understanding of what constitutes a paradox and suggests a conceptual framework from which organizations and their members can frame and cope with tensions that result from paradoxes. Specifically, we conceptually map a way to achieve a synthesis of paradoxical tensions that is informed by design thinking. This synthesis is said to occur when competing demands are simultaneously fulfilled to their full potential. In this paper, design thinking – as a management concept – is used to refer to the interplay between perspective, structure, process, and mindset. It provides an alternative framing of how organizations approach paradoxes and deal with the resulting tensions.

Keywords
Design thinking, Organizational design, Paradoxical tensions, Symmetric organizational form, Synthesizing
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-113788 (URN)10.1016/j.scaman.2015.12.002 (DOI)000371837400004 ()
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2015-12-30 Created: 2015-12-30 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
Wåhlin, N., Kapsali, M., Harryson Näsholm, M. & Blomquist, T. (2016). Urban strategies for culture-driven growth: co-creating a European Capital of Culture. Edward Elgar Publishing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Urban strategies for culture-driven growth: co-creating a European Capital of Culture
2016 (English)Book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016. p. 208
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-121710 (URN)10.4337/9781783479382 (DOI)9781783479382 (ISBN)
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2016-06-07 Created: 2016-06-07 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
Wåhlin, N. & Blomquist, T. (2015). Guest editorial. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, 8(4)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Guest editorial
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 8, no 4Article in journal, Editorial material (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Culture is an important part of the society and economy. People tend to evaluate progress through the delivery and survival of cultural artifacts whether that is in tangible terms or through memory of spectacular events. In this way project management has much to offer society. Recent developments highlight how cultural issues in general become necessary for city and community development in order to maintain their attraction as livable places both for citizens and organizations. The variety of cultural activities range from performing and visual arts, music scenes and theaters, to concentrated efforts related to cultural festivals and large-scale Capital of Culture-years including multitudes of artistic expressions. Although it is widely acknowledged that culture matters to society, our understanding of how cultural projects are organized remain under-studied. This lack of knowledge is further emphasized when we consider how core cultural activities are related to creative industries and business development. A wide spectrum of artistic expressions is considered to stimulate co-creation and creativity between different spheres of activities, but the question is how. Despite the complexity of weaving together cultural activities of various types, projects stand out as a common denominator. Organizing by projects energize collaborative actions and provide arenas for creative exploration of the opportunities that lie ahead.

The idea for a special issue on organizing cultural projects was triggered by a research project conducted at Umeå School of Business and Economics concerning the European Capital of Culture initiative in the City of Umeå, Sweden, which was implemented during 2014 (Wåhlin, 2012). We investigated how such a large-scale initiative was organized and planned before, during and after the event and how each phase of the implementation comprised challenges of various kinds. One prominent feature that stood out was the use of projects both when it came to assembling the program in its entirety as well as when it came to energizing small scale initiatives among cultural practitioners (Näsholm and Blomquist, 2015). The tendency of projectification really became obvious and made us aware of a more general trend of organizing cultural activities through projects all over Europe not least stimulated by the European Union (Lundinet al., 2015a). By stretching the boundaries of the normal routines every city seems to strive for turning the conditions of the creative city (Andersson, 2011) into action by empowering and stimulating citizens in co-creative projects. When considering such endeavors we mean that the notion of the projective city seems more appropriate and relevant (APROS/EGOS, 2015).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015
Keywords
Culture projects, Project management, Projective Cities
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-108525 (URN)10.1108/IJMPB-07-2015-0054 (DOI)000369995500002 ()
Projects
Strategy, Design and Organizing in City Development Processes
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P12-0973:1
Note

IJMPB Special section: organizing cultural projects

Available from: 2015-09-14 Created: 2015-09-13 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
Wåhlin, N., Kapsali, M., Harryson Näsholm, M. & Blomquist, T. (2015). Materializing urban design through boundary spaces. In: : . Paper presented at APROS/EGOS Conference “Spaces, Constraints, Creativities: Organization and Disorganization”, Dec 9-11 2015, Sydney, Australia.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Materializing urban design through boundary spaces
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper involves an exploration of how architecture, landscape and construction spaces contribute in urban design by providing incentives for interaction and emergence of collaborative ventures during a large cultural development initiative. The paper contains an analysis of how spaces becomes boundary mechanisms facilitating the translation of a cultural vision. By elaborating on ‘boundary spaces’ to explain the materialization of an urban strategy we use a praxeological outlook as it is framed in the strategy-as-practice literature. When we more closely delves into how spaces can be set in motion and become generative platforms we use the notion of action nets. Methodologically, the paper investigates how such strivings are articulated, planned and implemented in a local context by using a narrative approach comprised by analyses of narrative infrastructures. By mediating different layers of interpretation, boundary spaces turn into artifacts exceeding strategic projections.

Keywords
city development, urban design, boundary space
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-113508 (URN)
Conference
APROS/EGOS Conference “Spaces, Constraints, Creativities: Organization and Disorganization”, Dec 9-11 2015, Sydney, Australia
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2015-12-21 Created: 2015-12-21 Last updated: 2018-06-07
Wåhlin, N. (2015). Organizing and designing affectice spaces in projective cities. In: : . Paper presented at APROS/EGOS Research Conference "Spaces, Constraints, Creativities: Organization and Disorganization", Sydney, Australia, Dec 9-11, 2015.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Organizing and designing affectice spaces in projective cities
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

For 54% of the global population, living, working and playing takes place in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 66% by 2050. Considering the importance of cities, it is understandable that organization scholars have become interested in the way organizing is translated into ongoing actions and how these actions are assembled in the city context. This paper proposes a conceptual vocabulary allowing to incorporate analysis of the complexity of city management endeavours. Our group of researchers followed the materialization of a large cultural development initiative. In our conducted studies we refused to treat the city as a stable and separate entity; rather, we saw it as a meshwork connecting heterogeneous components without homogenizing. This multiplicity is especially obvious in the cultural arena on which various activities are meshed together, resulting in an overflow of cultural expressions. Such expressions are meant to entertain, provoke and instil reflexivity among the citizens, but also raise the question of how they can be managed. In the studied case; public, private and voluntary initiatives became assembled and repeatedly translated into what we call projectified practices. Such practices included creation of a temporary organization as a way to manage short-term activities, but also construction of affective spaces as a way to strategize long-term investments related to urban design as a whole. These practices opened for new collaborative efforts, but also resulted in new excluding mechanisms, typical for what can be called a projective city. 

Keywords
meshworks, projectified practices, affective spaces, projective cities
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-122274 (URN)
Conference
APROS/EGOS Research Conference "Spaces, Constraints, Creativities: Organization and Disorganization", Sydney, Australia, Dec 9-11, 2015
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P 12-0973:1
Available from: 2016-06-16 Created: 2016-06-16 Last updated: 2019-06-18Bibliographically approved
Lundin, R. A., Midler, C. & Wåhlin, N. (2015). Projectification Revisited/Revised. In: : . Paper presented at IRNOP 12, London, UK, 2015.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Projectification Revisited/Revised
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The original notion of projectification related to organizations and project management was straightforward. Activities formerly regarded or handled as normal matters or routines were transformed to be projects with a specific task associated with each project and a focus on efficiency in terms of time lapse and resources. However, over time the notion has appeared in a wide set of narratives.

In this paper we provide examples of narratives intending to pave the way for an academic discussion aiming towards theorizing projectification processes. We include evidence of a need to see beyond the simplistic notions and also allude to meta-theory.

Keywords
Projectification, organizing, meta-theoreical discussion
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109680 (URN)
Conference
IRNOP 12, London, UK, 2015
Projects
Strategy, Design and Organizing in City Development Processes
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P12-0973:1
Available from: 2015-10-03 Created: 2015-10-03 Last updated: 2019-06-19Bibliographically approved
Wåhlin, N. (2015). Projective Cities: Organizing Large Cultural Development Initiatives. In: Britta Lundgren and Ovidiu Matiu (Ed.), Culture and Growth: Magical Companions or Mutually Exclusive Counterparts?. Paper presented at Eighth Interdisciplinary Conference of the University Network of the European Capitals of Culture, Umeå, Sweden, October 23-24, 2014 (pp. 44-68). Sibiu: Lucian Blaga University Press, 7
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Projective Cities: Organizing Large Cultural Development Initiatives
2015 (English)In: Culture and Growth: Magical Companions or Mutually Exclusive Counterparts? / [ed] Britta Lundgren and Ovidiu Matiu, Sibiu: Lucian Blaga University Press , 2015, Vol. 7, p. 44-68Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Cities are the dynamic places within which living, working and playing is performed for over fifty per cent of the global population. In recent years, organization scholars who study cities have become interested in the way organizing is translated into ongoing actions and how these actions are assembled in the city context. This paper describes city development as a situated practice and proposes a conceptual vocabulary comprehensive enough to incorporate the complexity of such strategic endeavours as the performing of a ‘city of culture’. Our group of researchers followed the materialization of a large developmental-cultural initiative, attempting to understand how organizing and strategizing were shaped in the context of this initiative. As a way of analysing ongoing actions, we refused to treat the city as a stable and separate entity; rather, we saw the city as a meshwork: heterogeneous assemblies emerging on its terrain. Public and private initiatives worked in tandem, in concert and contest, and were repeatedly translated into projectified practices. Projectifying and projecting city development could thereby be described as an attempt to shape and form what we call projective cities. A projective city comprises multiple projects, multiple arenas and multiple forces – not always co-created in harmony with its citizens.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sibiu: Lucian Blaga University Press, 2015
Series
University Network of the European Capital of Cultures (UNEECC FORUM), ISSN 2068-2123 ; 7
Keywords
projective cities, meshworks, culture-driven growth, narrative dualites
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-115272 (URN)
Conference
Eighth Interdisciplinary Conference of the University Network of the European Capitals of Culture, Umeå, Sweden, October 23-24, 2014
Projects
Strategi, design och organisering i städers utvecklingsprocesser
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2016-02-02 Created: 2016-02-02 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-2665-0233

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