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From ideas of power to the powering of ideas in organizations : reflections from Follett and Foucault.

Carlsen, A. and Clegg, S. R. and Pitsis, T. S. and Mortensen, T. F. (2020) 'From ideas of power to the powering of ideas in organizations : reflections from Follett and Foucault.', European management journal., 38 (6). pp. 829-835.


Research on organizational creativity tends to emphasize fairly static notions of coercive power as positional authority and control over scarce resources. The field remains largely silent about power as a positive and generative phenomenon that can produce creativity. We seek to break that silence by amplifying and integrating the work of Mary Parker Follett and Michel Foucault in concert with recent practice-based approaches to creativity. Power in organizational creativity, we suggest, should first of all be explored as processes of connection, abundance and collective agency. We show that whereas established ideas of positional power over is related to assumptions of linearity and singularity of creativity, ideas of power with and power to are associated with a more dynamic, relational and process-based perspective. The latter set of views implies more attention be paid to processes of interactional framing through which people jointly attend to situations, reach new integrations and produce new social realities.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo until 14 March 2022.
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
File format - PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:© 2020 This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Date accepted:12 March 2020
Date deposited:17 March 2020
Date of first online publication:14 March 2020
Date first made open access:14 March 2022

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