Exploring creativity and innovation in broadcasting

Stewart Clegg, Stephen Burdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We consider the emergence of design innovations in process, emerging around the form of polyarchy. This is done by using a case study of innovation conducted by a production organization’s project that was embedded in and hosted by a bureaucratic public institution, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). The research reported here was part of a larger project comparing the BBC and ABC’s use of different modes of organization. It focused mainly on the organization designed to deliver a six-part television series, The Code. The innovative process of Scribe, the organization in question, in producing the story is a good example of idea work being instituted in a polyarchic design process. Scribe represents a new organizational design characterized by a polyarchic structure, which is soft and decentralized, with strict and relatively insuperable social and symbolic boundaries. This results in a project-based organization to coordinate collective innovation that is curated by making the writer also the creative director or showrunner. The research contributes further to exploring organizational idea work, through prioritizing creativity and innovation by an explicit positioning of a product and collaborative generative idea work.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberUNSP 0018726719888004
Pages (from-to)791-813
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Creativity
  • innovation
  • media
  • organization design
  • polyarchy
  • projects


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