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New A-Journal Publication in Organization Studies

Organization Studies

Benjamin Schiemer and Elke Schüßler (both Institute of Organization Science) and Tobias Theel (Freie Universität Berlin) have published results from a comparative ethnography of a physical songwriting camp and an online platform for songwriting in "Organization Studies", a leading management journal on the FT 50 journal list. Their study "Regulating Nimbus and Focus: Organizing Copresence for Creative Collaboration, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen Fenster" is a result of their joint work in the context of the DFG-funded Research Unit "Organized Creativity, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen Fenster" The study develops the conceptual notions of converging and diverging copresence- an active mutual orientation toward one another that can be more or less focused, but is necessary for creative collaboration to occur. Specifically, the researchers find that copresence needs to be actively organized irrespective of the spatial setting and the technological modalities used, although different organizing challenges arose in the two settings. An oscillation between converging and diverging forms of copresence is necessary to switch from moments of intense and focused collaboration on creative ideas and a more open "hanging out" that enables serendipitous encounters. These insights have implications for wider research on organizational spaces for collaboration such as coworking spaces or open offices, where participants are often found to avoid collaborating. Benjamin, Elke and Tobias would argue that this happens because either no copresence, or prolonged states of converging or diverging copresence are perceived as stressful and uncomfortable.