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Idea Work: A Pragmatic Perspective on Action-Based Creativity and Innovation in Everyday Work

Wietske Van Osch
University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Michel Avital
University of Amsterdam, Netherlands


Abstract
Idea work is the process of engaging with ideas in everyday work within task-driven contexts. Anyone who creates, modifies, and uses ideas in the context of everyday work is engaged with idea work. In this paper, we aim to draw attention to how idea work can be used as a fundamental lens to understanding creativity and innovation in organizations. We propose shifting focus from knowledge work to idea work, building on the observation that idea work 1) is distributed across people, artifacts, and environment; 2) is enacted through discursive practices; 3) entails a practical and meaningful engagement with the world; and 4) draws upon and results in embodied artifacts. Backed by a set of action-oriented illustrations of idea work in organizational context, these underpinnings provide insights concerning how creativity and innovation emerge from social interactions between situated people who are collaboratively engaged with embodied artifacts and information systems in the context of everyday work.

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Reference:Van Osch, W., Avital, M. (2009). "Idea Work: A Pragmatic Perspective on Action-Based Creativity and Innovation in Everyday Work," Proceedings > Proceedings of SIGPrag Workshop . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 9(69). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/9-69
Keywords:Idea work, generative capacity, creativity, innovation, action, practice, discourse
Item Type:Article - Volume 9 Article 69 (2009)
Language:English
Email: Wietske Van Osch (w.vanosch@uva.nl)
Michel Avital (avital@uva.nl)

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