Work in progress – abstract


(un)organizing innovation in SMEs in the Creative Industries and the role of creative leaders

Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) depend on their ability to be innovative in order to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage. However, innovation processes within SMEs should be assessed independently from generic innovation processes within the industry. E.g. SMEs in the creative industries tend to use less structured approaches to innovation which holds valuable lessons regarding to creative leadership and accepting a crucial aspect of innovation: the unexpected outcome.

This paper explores critical points of thinking regarding (un) organizing innovation across SMEs within the creative industry domain. Key questions are: what can be organised? And what should be left as untouched and unorganised as possible? What does creative leadership look like in SMEs in the CI? Semi-structured  in-depth face to face interviews of 45 minutes each will be held at 5 small medium enterprises (SMEs) in the creative industry in Tilburg (the Netherlands)* who have defined innovation as a core value. Interview data will be analysed in order to distillate best practices and critical points to consider for further research. Our findings reveal critical points of thinking for innovation minded organisations.

Keywords: innovation, organizing innovation, creative leadership, leading innovation, SMEs, creative industries