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The (un)surprising nature of creativity: A Deleuzian perspective on the temporality of the creative process

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/08/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Ephemera : Theory and Politics in Organization
Issue number2
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper offers a Deleuzian account of the paradoxical nature of creative surprise in order to explore what this may mean for organisational life. We argue that creativity is capable of yielding temporal surprise, which is as much unsurprising in its emergence through embodied duration, as it is capable of generating surprising new perspectives and experiences. The paper employs two strategies: Firstly, we review the critical literature on creativity to reveal the need to resist certain instrumental approaches, precisely because they cannot meaningfully account for the temporal dimensions of the creative process. Secondly, we reconceptualise what happens in the creative process by offering a Deleuzian analysis of how the temporal-relational dynamic serendipitously, yet (un)surprisingly, generates what seems to be
unexpected, un-programmable and unmanageable becomings within and through time. Finally, we suggest that understanding the (un)surprising temporal becomings that are central to creativity, could be helpful in recrafting organisational theories of
creativity, as well as informing organisational practice going forward.