Call for Papers

In a context where ‘temporary organizational forms are not new (Bechky, 2006), [yet] new organizational forms are often temporary (Malone & Laubacher, 1998)’ (Bakker, 2010: 466), the scholarly interest in temporary organizing has been increasing particularly over the last decades and it has become a distinct category within organization studies (Lundin & Söderholm, 1995). Considering different approaches toward temporary organizing that are commonly employed in the organization literature, temporary organizing appears as ‘an emergent and important process, organizational form, and theoretical perspective that warrants systematic research attention’ (Bakker et al., 2016: 1714). In this regard, projects appear as the primary unit for production, organization, innovation, and competition in temporary organizing practices and, despite increased research interest, there is still the need to further develop our understanding of projects’ embeddedness into organizational and wider institutional contexts.

The widespread consensus regarding the definitions of temporary organizing is based on the ex-ante time defined goals. Nevertheless, this does not necessarily suggest a strict ephemerality and short-term nature in terms of an absolutist duration-based understanding. In this respect, Brookes et al. (2017) argues that the prevalent assumption regarding relative temporalities within work on projects as temporary organizations, which is ‘organizing around an ex-ante termination date means that the temporary organization is always relatively less durable, or lacking in ‘permanence’, relative to organizations without such a date’, remains mostly assumed rather than empirically tested.’. In fact, temporary organizing embodies various temporalities that are relatively shaped within the project ecology and of crucial importance to reveal the social, contextual and organizational embeddedness of projects and project-based organizations.

On the other hand, ‘dual search for stability and change pervades all forms of organizing (Weick, 1979: 136) and constitutes a central paradox of administration (Thompson, 1967: 150)’ (Farjoun, 2010: 202). Nevertheless, these two notions have been mostly conceptualized as a dualism, which remains insufficient to capture the more dynamic interplay between stability and change, particularly in the case of Cultural and Creative Industries. ‘Stability and change both can be outcomes, objectives, and performances, as well as underlying mechanisms-processes, practices and forms’ (Farjoun, 2010: 203). Thus, institutional maintenance should be distinguished from stability or the absence of change: rather, maintaining institutions involves considerable effort, and often occurs as a consequence of and/or in the form of change in the organization or its environment (Tonga Uriarte et al., 2018).

In this workshop, we aim to focus on temporary organizing in Cultural and Creative Industries and draw attention to the need for a profound reflection on the specific characteristics of the arts and heritage field in related research. We will discuss temporary organizing fundamentally as a different logic of organizing and change as constitutive of reality and the normal condition of organizational life (Tsoukas & Chia, 2002). In these discussions, we will bring academicians and prominent practitioners from the field together to develop an integrated approach, to trigger fruitful exchange and collaboratively define the gaps/needs in the literature and to hint at future research directions.

We would like to attract both conceptual and empirical research able to increase our understanding of the ways in which cultural institutions are organized to achieve their programming choices and how they get engaged with their temporal, social and institutional settings through their projects. We are particularly interested in research that draws on theories from different disciplines and deploys diverse research methods.

Specific areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Temporary events (e.g. festivals, biennials, European Capital of Culture);
  • Arts and heritage management;
  • Museology and issues related to museum management;
  • Creative cities and cultural tourism;
  • Publishing, fantasy culture and gaming industry;
  • Fashion and design industries.


Bakker, R. (2010). Taking stock of temporary organizational forms: a systematic review and research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, 12(4), 466-486.

Bakker, R. M., DeFillippi, R. J., Schwab, A., & Sydow, J. (2016). Temporary organizing: Promises, processes, problems. Organization Studies, 37(12), 1703-1719.

Bechky, B.A. (2006). Gaffers, gofers, and grips: role-based coordination in temporary organizations. Organization Science, 17, 3–21.

Brookes, N., Sage, D., Dainty, A., Locatelli, G., & Whyte, J. (2017). An island of constancy in a sea of change: Rethinking project temporalities with long-term megaprojects. International Journal of Project Management, 35(7), 1213-1224.

Farjoun, M. (2010). Beyond dualism: Stability and change as a duality. Academy of Management Review, 35(2), 202-225.

Lundin, R. A., & Söderholm, A. (1995). A theory of the temporary organization. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 11 (4), 437–455.

Malone, T.W., & Laubacher, R.J. (1998). The dawn of the e-lance economy. Harvard Business Review, 76, 144–152.

Thompson, J. D. (1967). Organizations in action. McGraw-Hill.

Tsoukas H., Chia R. (2002). On organizational becoming: Rethinking organizational change. Organization Science, 13, 567–582.

Tonga Uriarte Y, DeFilippi R J, Riccaboni M, Catoni M L (2018). Projects, institutional logics and institutional work practices: The case of the Lucca Comics & Games Festival. International Journal of Project Management. (In press)

Weick, K. E. (1979). The social psychology of organizing. McGraw-Hill.