Turning to the dark side: Challenging the hegemonic positivity of the creativity discourse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using a Laclauian discourse approach this paper challenges the hegemony of articulations framing creativity as good, necessary, and as a source of valuable outcomes for organizations and individuals. Instead, this paper argues that creativity has a ‘dark side’, referring to that which is harmful and may result in pain, loss or suffering. We analyze and expose the hegemonic positivity of the creativity discourse within organization studies and discuss the implications of this hegemony. We conclude that the dark side of creativity has been subverted in the discourse and requires further scholarly exploration. To promote a greyer research agenda of creativity in organizations, we offer three theorizations of the dark side of creativity as antagonisms to the hegemony – the individual, collective, and critical. By challenging the hegemonic positivity of creativity and by providing a number of research imaginaries, this paper invites scholars to broaden the discourse and to embrace a more greyer understanding of creativity in organization studies.


External organisations
  • University of Turku
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Business Administration
Original languageEnglish
Article number101088
JournalScandinavian Journal of Management
Issue number1
Early online date2019 Nov 26
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar
Publication categoryResearch