New Article in RSO: “Between Anxiety and Hope? How Actors Experience Regulatory Uncertainty in Creative Processes in Music and Pharma”

We, that is Katharina Zangerle, Konstantin Hondros, Sigrid Quack, myself, have recently contributed to an issue in “Research in the Sociology of Organizations” on “Organizing Creativity in the Innovation Journey”. The article is based upon data collected in the course of our joint DFG-funded research project on “Organizing Creativity under Regulatory Uncertainty: Challenges of Intellectual Property”. The photo below was obviously taken pre-pandemic but captures quite nicely the exhausted happiness we feel right now. And feelings and emotions is also what our article is about.

In our article “Between Anxiety and Hope? How Actors Experience Regulatory Uncertainty in Creative Processes in Music and Pharma” we approach the issues of what rules and uncertainty have to do with creativity, with distinct professions navigating and organizing creators’ related emotional experiences.

IP rights are usually viewed as a rational, dry matter that is assumed to involve typically rational lawyers in suits who hang out in expensive downtown offices and spend their time dealing with rather annoyed and irritated infringers of IP, mostly creators. Unlike criminal law matters, IP-related uncertainties barely touch our hearts and souls at first glance. However, in our analysis, we show that the uncertainty resulting from IP regulations affects mind and soul as well as creative processes and outcomes in most different industries. 

Exploring professional ‘feeling rules”

Specifically, we explore IP-related cognitive-emotional experiences of different professional groups involved in pharmaceutical and musical production including lawyers, managers, scientists and musicians. Hence, we follow the idea of emotional experiences depending on the social rules of distinct professions and occupations. Understanding emotions as constituted by ‘feeling rules’ of specific professions, domains and industries that partly explain the ways professionals’ emotions vary, we show how the experiences related to IP are entrenched with emotions ranging from anxiety to hope.

In our case, in the creative fields of music and pharma, both lawyers and managers tend to function as such cultivators of creators’ emotions, and thereby not only influence their soul life and lifeworlds, but may also shape the production of creative artifacts. In addition, we offer empirical insights on how creative processes in very different fields such as music and pharma depend on prior input and IP for creating something new and valuable.

This RSO volume as a whole is edited by Elke Schüßler, Silviya Svejenova and Patrick Cohendet, and provides an organization-theoretical perspective in innovation research, focusing on the contested social dynamics in the production and evaluation of ‘creativity’ – defining what is ‘valuable’ and ‘novel – across the innovation journey, and as such is more than the sum of its parts.

In case you or your institution does not have access to RSO please do not hesitate to contact me or any of my co-authors and we will gladly send you a PDF of our article.

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