Organizing by co-creation: emerging cultural projects
For next week we will have the chance to practice our ‘craftsmanship-skills’ on a some work in progress, namely a manuscript by Malin Näsholm and Tomas Blomquist called “Organizing by Co-Creation: Emerging Cultural Projects”. The paper is to be presented at the Nordic Academy of Management (NFF) Conference, August 21-23 Reykjavík and it is one of the first outcomes from the Managing Capitals of Culture (MCoC) project. I’m sure there will be much more to come!
The full paper will be distributed via e-mail later this week by Malin and Tomas.
Co-creation can be seen as a form of organizing, building from the bottom-up, often within the structure of an open-source project. Previous studies on projects has often had the perspective that projects are organized through a top-down approach where the firm or the network of firms create a project for the development of a new product or service. In this study we take a perspective of co-creation and user involvement to show how projects could emerge from the bottom up. Umeå’s application to become the European Capital of Culture 2014 was successful, to a large extent due to its unique approach to organize the project through co-creation. The idea is that cultural projects forming the program should emerge from the community, but how can this be organized? The purpose of the paper is to illustrate how a large multi-project initiative can be organized through co-creation practices. Interviews with politicians involved, people from the Umeå 2014 project team and secondary data on the project will be analyzed to explore how the project is organized and the process by which cultural projects within it emerge. To illustrate, two cultural projects are analyzed more specifically. Initial findings show that the Umeå 2014 project takes the role of a platform that makes meetings/interactions possible and organizing by co-creation allows for creative cultural projects to emerge. The paper contributes to the understanding of organizing projects and the way that co-creation practices can be a fruitful, although challenging, approach that contradicts the traditional way of running large projects.