Creativity as a service: How creative agents foster a liminal experience

Natalja Laurey, Hans Berends, Marleen Huysman

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


This study aims to elaborate organizational theory on creativity, by highlighting the value of offering a sense of ‘in-betweenness’ or, as we label it, facilitating a “liminal experience”. Creative work in today’s society increasingly takes place in rapidly changing and ill-defined conditions. Nevertheless, organizational theories on creativity assume creative work to have a rather stable outcome and thus demand closure, such as the production of a music record, theatre play, video game. Based on a qualitative research, we study creativity how creative agents offer creativity as a service to their clients in an open-ended context. Our study shows that creative agents keep creative processes open-ended by adapting their role and position to the needs of the clients (morphing), while at the same time offering the clients resources to generate creativity by themselves (mobilizing). Our study suggests that creative agents do not necessarily need to deliver concrete results at the end of projects, but that the value of creativity can also include offering clients a liminal experience that generates potentialities for creative change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Event77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2017 - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 4 Aug 20178 Aug 2017

Publication series

NameAcademy of Management Proceedings
PublisherAcademy of Management


Conference77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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